Extreme Scale Multi-Physics Simulations of the Tsunamigenic 2004 Sumatra Megathrust Earthquake

Carsten Uphoff, Sebastian Rettenberger, Michael Bader, Elizabeth H. Madden, Thomas Ulrich, Stephanie Wollherr, Alice-Agnes Gabriel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

59 Scopus citations


We present a high-resolution simulation of the 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, including non-linear frictional failure on a megathrust-splay fault system. Our method exploits unstructured meshes capturing the complicated geometries in subduction zones that are crucial to understand large earthquakes and tsunami generation. These up-to-date largest and longest dynamic rupture simulations enable analysis of dynamic source effects on the seafloor displacements. To tackle the extreme size of this scenario an end-to-end optimization of the simulation code SeisSol was necessary. We implemented a new cache-aware wave propagation scheme and optimized the dynamic rupture kernels using code generation. We established a novel clustered local-time-stepping scheme for dynamic rupture. In total, we achieved a speed-up of 13.6 compared to the previous implementation. For the Sumatra scenario with 221 million elements this reduced the time-to-solution to 13.9 hours on 86,016 Haswell cores. Furthermore, we used asynchronous output to overlap I/O and compute time.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis
ISBN (Print)9781450351140
StatePublished - Nov 12 2017
Externally publishedYes


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