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INITIATOR - WIdeNIng The ImpAcT Of High Performance Computing for natural HazaRds

Awarded: NOK 0.93 mill.

The INITIATOR project has the ambition to widen the applications of High Performance Computing (HPC) for geohazards in Norway. It is based on NGIs involvement in the H2020 ChEESE Center of Excellence in Exascale for high performance computing related to solid earth sciences and geohazards. The INITIATOR project will utilize unique results provided by NGI on tsunami high performance computing in ChEESE to provide the following outputs: Visualization and dissemination material based on large scale HPC simulations presently being carried out on one of the worlds largest computing systems, Marconi100. These simulations are results from the PRACE computing project TsuHazAP, and includes more than one million high resolution tsunami inundation simulations. This simulation dataset is unique worldwide. An important aspect of this work has been the efficient utilization of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs). When TsuHazAP ends, the available results will be used in INITIATOR to generate material such as animations that will be used to disseminate more widely how HPC can be exploited to model natural hazards in Norway. Some material is already made available and has been used in INITIATOR for popular dissemination and visits towards Norwegian High School in lectures where we show the students how physics, mathematics, and HPC can be used in both research and practical applications. Moreover, the project has facilitated joint publication work with the Norwegian HPC centre UNINETT, hence broadening ChEESE's impact within the Norwegian research sector. In a later phase of the project, Norwegian contact points across a wider range of actors, from other researchers to stakeholders, will be invited to smaller workshops. The aim of these workshops is to discuss how the HPC experience from ChEESE can be scaled up to include modelling of other natural hazards in Norway, as well as to include our capabilities both within solving new problems and widening research capabilities.


The project will consist of three main activities, 1) provision of visual dissemination material such as tsunami animations 2) national networking activities, and 3) disseminating results to the general public and through eduction. These main activities are summarized below: 1) Production of high quality visualization of hazard maps and tsunami animations. This will utilize results already developed material in ChEESE based on earthquake tsunami hazards in Catania, Italy. Innovative ways of visualising these tsunami hazards will be explored, including animating in detail the tsunami generation, run-up, and inundation, as well as displaying how uncertainties and tsunami sources influence the hazard. Similar animations will be further be adapted to Norwegian settings for landslide induced tsunamis in fjords to convey how supercomputing may help improving hazard analysis for natural hazard applications in Norway yet to be addressed using HPC. 2) Carry out workshops towards stakeholders in Norway to strengthen opportunities to use HPC for better hazard analysis in the future, for hazards such as tsunamis, landslides, and snow avalanches. Target groups include local muncipalities and national stakeholders, as well as relevant geoscientific players in universities and state institutions. Carry out workshops with Norwegian supercomputing expertise, to aim for better participation and exploitation of forthcoming supercomputing infrastructure that will soon be available in Europe. 3) Embed ChEESE results and dissemination material into the relevant undergraduate and graduate level natural hazards courses universities in Norway. Similarly, use already existing collaboration by NGI with high schools in Oslo to popularize science and disseminate how research is used in practice. Use visualization material in public promotion material, and through social media, and write popular science articles.

Funding scheme: