3D physics-based ground motion simulation of the 21 February 2008 Storfjorden, Svalbard earthquake

The Svalbard Archipelago is situated in the intraplate region characterized by some of the highest seismicity in the entire Barents Sea and adjoining continental shelf.

On 21 February 2008, the Mw 6.1 mainshock occurred in the offshore region of Storfjorden and initiated a rich aftershock sequence over the years. The seismic sensors on Svalbard have collected large amounts of seismic data in the Storfjorden area, which has motivated significant research efforts on analyzing the tectonic characterization and regionalization of the Svalbard Archipelago and evaluating the seismic hazard in the region.

In recent years, physics-based numerical simulations (PBS) of seismic ground motion, from the seismic source to the site, have emerged as a promising tool to give an accurate assessment of earthquake ground motion and thus the seismic hazard for both retrospective and prospective earthquake scenarios.

This project will utilize a numerical tool (the open-source spectral element software, SPEED: the Discontinuous Galerkin Spectral Element method http://speed.mox.polimi.it/project/

CUBIT: https://cubit.sandia.gov/) to generate PBS of the 2008 Mw 6.1 earthquake. The thesis will include crustal (velocity) model construction, numerical modelling, and ground motion validations. This study is the first step towards more comprehensive researches on a physics-based probabilistic seismic hazard assessment.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understanding methods of constructing 3D crustal (velocity) models
  • Understanding physics-based ground motion simulation methods

Required background:

The potential student is expected to have advanced skills in computational engineering and scientific modelling. Furthermore, expertise in programming languages (e.g., Python, C++, Fortran or MATLAB) and experience with high-performance computing is desirable.

Tags: computational seismology, earthquake hazard
Published Oct. 1, 2021 11:30 AM - Last modified Oct. 1, 2021 11:34 AM

Scope (credits)