HPC Application Support for the PASC Solid Earth Dynamics Community
Resolving structures and processes on a wide range of interacting spatio-temporal scales is a unifying grand challenge in all branches of geophysics that must be addressed in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the Earth as a multi-physics system. Geophysical modelling and inversion across the scales heavily relies on modern HPC resources. This HPC dependence is particularly pronounced in geodynamic and seismic applications where convection processes and the propagation of elastic waves must be modelled with high accuracy in a broad spatio-temporal range. Applications include (i) waveform tomography from the exploration to the global scale, (ii) studies of earthquake-induced ground motion to quantify seismic risk, (iii) seismic source inversion and studies of earthquake rupture physics, (iv) the assimilation of geomagentic observations into dynamo simulations, and (v) the modelling of mantle convection and plate tectonics using increasingly realistic and highly nonlinear rheologies. A coordinated effort of HPC specialists and Earth scientists is needed to ensure that current and future computational resources can be harnessed optimally, and that progress continues to be made in the heavily HPC-dependent Solid Earth Sciences. This effort must include the long-term support of HPC applications, that already today requires expert knowledge and experience.