Data Services Newsletter

Volume 4 : No 3 : September 2002

IRIS DMS Participation in the SCEC ITR Project

The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) has received a National Science Foundation Information Technology Research grant to design and develop a Community Modeling Environment — a technology “collaboratory” infrastructure supporting the large-scale, distributed modeling and simulation of the geophysical phenomena of earthquakes. With its distributed and configurable environment, the CME infrastructure will improve simulation results and understanding by supporting the integration of – and interaction between – remote and disparate research efforts, and by allowing the replacement of individual components of the model with others of greater accuracy or refinement or simply to test new hypotheses.

Synthetic FISSURES Model
Figure 1: Synthetic FISSURES Model

The Southern California Earthquake Center has received a National Science Foundation Information Technology Research grant to design and develop a Community Modeling Environment — a technology “collaboratory” infrastructure supporting the large-scale, distributed modeling and simualtion of the geophysical phenomena of earthquakes. With its distributed and configuarble environment, the CME infrastructure will improve simulation results and understanding by supporting the integration of – and interaction between – remote and disparate research efforts, and by allowing the replacement of individual components of the model with others of greater accuracy or refinement or simply to test new hypotheses.

The IRIS DMS is a participant in the SCEC/IT Partnership that has been formed to develop the CME. IRIS’ main role in the CME project is to provide integrated access to the DMS data holdings through the DHI interfaces and by integration with the CME Computational Grid and the underlying Globus technologies. IRIS is also extending the FISSURES object model to include Synthetic Seismograms and other data types, such as geologic and geodetic data. Linus Kamb was hired to support IRIS’ participation in the SCEC/ITR and has been working with the FISSURES group and with members of the SCEC community.

Another component of the CME effort is the development of an ontology for geophysics. Loosely, an ontology is a body of knowledge and understanding about a particular subject that describes and defines all of the elements – both concepts and objects – within that subject area and all of the relationships and interactions between those elements. IRIS will use the FISSURES object model as a starting point from which to begin developing a seismology ontology. The FISSURES object model describes the major seismic objects involved in the gathering and analysis of seismic data and, with extensions, simulation information. With such an ontology, users of the CME will more easily be able to assemble appropriate components to construct computational pathways for their desired results.

by Linus Kamb (IRIS Data Management Center)

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