ChEESE in full force at vEGU21
04 May 2021


ChEESE participated in the virtual EGU General Assembly (vEGU2021), held on 19-30 April 2021, with 14 vPICO presentations held in the second week of the event.

Nine of the presentations were part of the ChEESE-organised session titled “Towards Exascale Supercomputing in Solid Earth Geoscience and Geohazards", which took place on 29 April at 11:00 am - 11:45 am. This session, convened by ChEESE researchers Arnau Folch (BSC), Steven Gibbons (NGI), Marisol Monterrubio-Velasco (BSC), Jean-Pierre Vilotte (IPGP) and Sara Aniko Wirp (LMU), included the following talks about ChEESE research:

Leonardo Mingari (BSC) - "Ensemble-based data assimilation of volcanic aerosols using FALL3D+PDAF"

Beatriz Martínez Montesinos (INGV) - "Probabilistic Tephra Hazard Assessment of Campi Flegrei, Italy"

Otilio Rojas (BSC) - "Towards physics-based PSHA using CyberShake in the South Iceland Seismic Zone"

Nathanael Schaeffer (IPGP/UGA) - "Efficient spherical harmonic transforms on GPU and its use in planetary core dynamics simulations"

Natalia Poiata (IPGP) - "Data-streaming workflow for seismic source location with PyCOMPSs parallel computational framework"

Federico Brogi (INGV) - "Optimization strategies for efficient high-resolution volcanic plume simulations with OpenFOAM"

Marta Pienkowska (ETH) - "Deterministic modelling of seismic waves in the Urgent Computing context: progress towards a short-term assessment of seismic hazard"

Claudia Abril (IMO) - "Ground motion simulations for finite-fault earthquake scenarios on the Húsavík-Flatey Fault, North Iceland"

Eduardo César Cabrera Flores (BSC) - "A hybrid system for the near real-time modeling and visualization of extreme magnitude earthquakes"

Besides presenting the in session organised by the project, ChEESE researchers also participated in other vEGU21 sessions. Their talks include:

Sara Aniko Wirp (LMU) - "3D linked megathrust, dynamic rupture and  tsunami propagation and inundation modeling:  Dynamic effects of supershear and tsunami earthquakes" (Tsunamis : from source processes to coastal hazard and warning session)

Steven Gibbons (NGI) - "The Sensitivity of Tsunami run-up to Earthquake Source Parameters and Manning Friction Coefficient in High-Resolution Inundation Simulations" ( Tsunamis: from source processes to coastal hazard and warning session)

Marisol Monterrubio-Velasco (BSC) - "Source Parameter Sensitivity of Earthquake Simulations assisted by Machine Learning" (Advances in Earthquake Forecasting and Model Testing session)

Manuel Titos (IMO) - "Assessing potential impacts on the air traffic routes due to an ash-producing eruption on Jan Mayen Island (Norway)" ( Volcano hazard modelling session)

Fabian Kutschera (LMU) - "Linking dynamic earthquake rupture to tsunami modeling for the Húsavík-Flatey transform fault system in North Iceland" (Linking active faults and the earthquake cycle to Seismic Hazard Assessment: Onshore and Offshore Perspectives session)

In addition to all the ChEESE vPICO presentations,  project partner Alice-Agnes Gabriel (LMU) also co-organised the "Physics-based earthquake modeling and engineering" session on 26 April 2021.

ChEESE: The European Union prepares to enter the exascale era
03 May 2021

ChEESE researchers from Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) have recently published an article describing the current state of the European HPC system, how ChEESE is preparing codes for the exascale era and the role of INGV within the project.


Today, your cell phone has more computer power than all of NASA back in 1969 when it sent two astronauts to the moon. [...] The Sony Playstation of today, which costs $300, has the power of a military supercomputer of 1997, which cost millions of dollars.” [Michio Kaku, Theoretical Physicist]

As the American computer scientist and essayist Ray Kurzweil  shows, technological progress is an exponential growth process. If we had to describe the growth curve of computing capacity from the first programmable electronic computer (the Colossus, used by the British during World War II to decipher Nazi messages) to today's supercomputers, we certainly could not use a linear relationship. In the recent decades we have witnessed an incredible technological acceleration in the field of HPC (High Performance Computing or supercomputing), which has allowed us to achieve computing capabilities once unthinkable. Let's take the computing performance, which is generally expressed in FLOPS (FLoating Point Operations Per Second), i.e. the number of floating-point calculations that a computer can perform in one second: if 2010 saw the advent of petascale computing (1015 FLOPS, or one million of billions FLOPs), 2020 marked the beginning of the exascale era, characterized by computers that are capable of reaching 1018 FLOPS (or one billion of billions FLOPs, i.e. a thousand times more). The technological efforts behind these incredible numbers lie not only in hardware development, but also in software development: a computing infrastructure perfectly capable of sustaining a very large number of calculations is in fact useless if the implemented algorithms are inefficient or, even worse, unable to handle the specific characteristics of HPC computing. But why do we need exascale computing? For two fundamental reasons: 1) current computational capacity is not sufficient to solve certain scientific problems; 2) current computation times are incompatible with certain specific applications. In the remainder of this article we will look at some examples of the scientific challenges for which we need exascale machines.

Download the full article (PDF) 

Authors: Angela Stallone, Laura Sandri, Stefano Lorito, Manuela Volpe, Emanuele Casarotti, Tomaso Esposti Ongaro.