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New research brings earthquake prediction a step closer

Scientists may be a step closer to predicting volcanic activity and earthquakes thanks to research conducted using the Blue Waters supercomputer. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign geology professor Lijun Liu and his collaborator Derrick Hasterok at the University of Adelaide in Australia ran models of 100 cores each on Blue Waters to help them develop a method to estimate weakness in the Earth’s outer layers. Their work, published in Science and featured in Science Daily, will help explain volcanic activity and may one day lead to predictions of volcanic activity and earthquakes.

“Blue Waters provides the key computational resources for this important finding on an accurate detection of the lithosphere strength. Blue Waters is also the cradle for a sequence of scientific discoveries we are making recently,” says Liu. “Besides our new Science paper, these also include our team’s new theory on the origin of Yellowstone published in Geophysical Research Letters and an improved understanding on subduction dynamics in South America published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

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