The SCEC Broadband Platform: A Collaborative Open-Source Software Package for Strong Ground Motion Simulation and Validation

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Fabio Silva1, Philip J Maechling1, Christine Goulet2, Paul Somerville3 and Thomas H Jordan1, (1)Southern California Earthquake Center, Los Angeles, CA, United States, (2)Pacific Earthquake Engineering Center, Berkeley, CA, United States, (3)URS Corporation Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, United States
The Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) Broadband Platform is a collaborative software development project involving geoscientists, earthquake engineers, graduate students, and the SCEC Community Modeling Environment. The SCEC Broadband Platform (BBP) is open-source scientific software that can generate broadband (0-100Hz) ground motions for earthquakes, integrating complex scientific modules that implement rupture generation, low and high-frequency seismogram synthesis, non-linear site effects calculation, and visualization into a software system that supports easy on-demand computation of seismograms.

The Broadband Platform operates in two primary modes: validation simulations and scenario simulations. In validation mode, the Platform runs earthquake rupture and wave propagation modeling software to calculate seismograms for a well-observed historical earthquake. Then, the BBP calculates a number of goodness of fit measurements that quantify how well the model-based broadband seismograms match the observed seismograms for a certain event. Based on these results, the Platform can be used to tune and validate different numerical modeling techniques.

In scenario mode, the Broadband Platform can run simulations for hypothetical (scenario) earthquakes. In this mode, users input an earthquake description, a list of station names and locations, and a 1D velocity model for their region of interest, and the Broadband Platform software then calculates ground motions for the specified stations.

Working in close collaboration with scientists and research engineers, the SCEC software development group continues to add new capabilities to the Broadband Platform and to release new versions as open-source scientific software distributions that can be compiled and run on many Linux computer systems. Our latest release includes 5 simulation methods, 7 simulation regions covering California, Japan, and Eastern North America, the ability to compare simulation results against GMPEs, and several new data products, such as map and distance-based goodness of fit plots. As the number and complexity of scenarios simulated using the Broadband Platform increases, we have added batching utilities to substantially improve support for running large-scale simulations on computing clusters.