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2013–2014 Webinar Series

October 10. Scott King, Professor, VT. The World Is Not Enough: Mantle Dynamics from a Planetary Perspective 
November 14. Giorgio Spada, Professor, Universita’ di Urbino. Using SELEN to Solve the Sea Level Equation
December. None (AGU)
January 9. Oliver Kreylos, Ph.D., UC Davis, Interactive Visualization for Scientific Data Analysis
February 13. Hank Childs, Professor, University of Oregon, Exascale Visualization: Why Things Will Change For You
March 13. MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian, UC Davis, Software and the Scholarly Record
April 10. ASPECT: Science Highlights, ASPECT Team 
May 15. Lead: Jon Aurnou, Professor, UCLA. CIG's Community Dynamo Code Development Project 


The World Is Not Enough: Mantle Dynamics from a Planetary Perspective 
Scott King, Professor, Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute

While many CIGers are firmly rooted here on planet Earth, CIG modeling tools can and are being applied to interesting problems on other bodies in the Solar System. This webinar will touch on some of the exciting research problems beyond the terrestrial sphere, including: Is Mercury's topography and volcanic history indicative of a dynamic interior today?; What is the mechanism of resurfacing on Venus?; Is Mars a one plume planet? Come learn how CIG tools are a common Bond between earth and planetary science researchers. 
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Using SELEN to Solve the Sea Level Equation
Giorgio Spada, Professor, Universita’ di Urbino 

When the mass of an ice sheet changes, sea level does not varies uniformly around the world. There are many reasons for this: the solid Earth time-dependent response to surface loading, the gravitational interactions between the components of the Earth system, the irregular and evolving shape of the coastlines, and more. All these effects are accounted for in the so-called “Sea Level Equation”, the fundamental tool for modeling GIA (Glacial Isostatic Adjustment). A sea level equation solver (SELEN) is now available to the CIGers. By some examples, ranging different time scales, we will show how SELEN can be employed in sea-level change investigations and, in general, in solid Earth geophysics.




Interactive Visualization for Scientific Data Analysis
Dr. Oliver Kreylos, University of California, Davis

Visualization, the process of turning data into pictures (or movies) for analysis or communication of results, is a long-established scientific tool. Interactive visualization extends this process by allowing users to work with "live" visual representations of their data instead of fixed pictures (or movies). For example, instead of visualizing a 3D gridded dataset by creating one or several cross-sections, users can drag a cross section through the dataset's domain in real time, in order to quickly find and mark features of interest. Interactive visualization of 3D datasets is particularly powerful when using 3D display environments with 3D input devices, such as CAVEs, that support direct and natural interaction styles. This seminar will focus on the 3D Visualizer software, developed at KeckCAVES specifically for interactive visualization of 3D gridded datasets, and on several types of 3D display environments of varying cost and complexity ideally suited for 3D visualization.  


3D Visualizer:




Exascale Visualization: Why Things Will Change For You
Hank Childs, Professor, University of Oregon

Exascale computing is on the horizon, and may appear as soon as 2019. So what does this mean for visualization? Plenty. Exascale machines will place severe constraints on I/O, power, data movement, and architecture. The massive data sets produced by these machines will likely require a variety of techniques to be visualized, such as in situ processing, multi-resolution processing, and/or data reduction, all while running on an accelerator. In this webinar, Hank will describe the exascale landscape and discuss why and how visualization will look different. 




Software and the Scholarly Record
MacKenzie Smith, University Librarian, University of California, Davis

Modeling and other forms of computational science require software to be shared and preserved, to insure reproducibility of research and proper credit to software developers. The webinar will review aspects of sharing software – open source licenses and software “publishing” – and related documentation to support reproducible research.




ASPECT: Science Highlights

ASPECT, the Advanced Solver for Problems in Earth's ConvecTion, is a finite element code to simulate problems in thermal convection in both 2D and 3D models primarily focused on simulating processes in the earth's mantle. The code is built on modern numerical methods incorporating adaptive mesh refinement and linear and nonlinear solvers. This webinar highlights the current scientific problems being tackled by the team of scientists-developers who contribute to this open source community code.

  • Introduction, Timo Heister, Clemson University
  • True polar wander in convecting planets, Ian Rose, UC Berkeley
  • Kinematic subduction zones with nonlinear Rheology in ASPECT, Katrina Arredondo, UC Davis
  • Implications of vertical and lateral viscosity variations of the mantle-lithosphere system in the Western Branch of the East African Rift, Sarah Stamps, MIT
  • Geodynamic modeling of eclogite-bearing mantle plumes using ASPECT, Juliane Dannberg, GFZ


THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014 @ 2PM PT

Community Dynamo Code Development Project 
Jon Aurnou (UCLA) & the Geodynamo Team

Over the past 20 years, researchers have made great strides in simulating convection-driven dynamo action.  They have modeled convection of electrically-conducting fluid in a rotating spherical shell by solving the full set of dynamo equations.  However, the parameter values employed in these dynamo models are very far from being Earth-like; they do not adequately approach the extreme values that describe planetary settings. Typical present day core dynamics simulations can resolve `quasi-laminar' convection at moderate rotation rates. In contrast, in Earth's core turbulent convective motions are strongly modified by the effects of planetary rotation. Because the core's extreme parameter values are presently inaccessible in dynamo models, the rapidly rotating turbulent magnetoconvection that exists in Earth's core has never been simulated. The discrepancy between the turbulence that exists in the core and the quasi-laminar flows that exist in geodynamo simulations raises the question: Are the current generation of dynamo simulations modeling convection that is relevant to actual core processes?

 To address this question, CIG's Dynamo Working Group has been developing two new codes, Calypso and Rayleigh, in order to provide the broader community with the ability to carry out massively-parallelized dynamo simulation that can more accurately simulate Earth's core conditions.  In addition, we are carrying out a community-wide accuracy-performace dynamo benchmark exercise to determine which dynamo simulation methods are best suited for the development of next generation codes that will be well-suited to peta- and exa-scale computing platforms.