Best Science Visualization Videos of 2009: A Simulated 7.8 Earthquake in Southern California

…from Wired Science

“Some of the most impressive images in science are produced when researchers take numerical data and represent it visually through modeling and computer graphics. The Department of Energy honored 10 of this year’s best scientific visualizations with its annual SciDAC Vis Night awards, at the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing conference (SciDAC) in June. Researchers submitted visualizations to the contest, and program participants voted on the best of the best. From earthquakes to jet flames, this gallery of videos and images show how beautiful (and descriptive) visual data can be.


“This visualization illustrates some of the rupture and wave propagation phenomena of a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas fault in Southern California. It shows how an earthquake originating 60 miles south of Palm Springs can end up shaking Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara minutes after the original fault rupture. The animation captures more than four minutes of complex dynamic rupture and wave propagation. Nearly 12 terabytes of earthquake simulation data was used to generate the animation.

“Video: DOE SciDAC Program/Amit Chourasia, Kim Olsen, Steven Day, Luis Dalguer, Yifeng Cui, Jing Zhu, David Okaya, Phil Maechling and Thomas H. Jordan”