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As the images of devastation continue to come out of Turkey and northern Syria, it is clear that earthquakes can result in formidable damage with the power to haunt affected areas for years to come. In order to make cities in earthquake-prone regions more resilient, engineers rely on simulation models to help predict the potential effects of seismic activity to buildings and other key pieces of the built-environment and community infrastructure. Such models can inform structural engineering, architectural retrofitting, and earthquake recovery — yet the development of such data-heavy, physics-based models has, to date, been limited by the availability of supercomputing time to run them.

Now, scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, also known as Berkeley Lab, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have developed a new simulation software, EQSIM, and announced that they will adapt and release the resulting data sets to the public through the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center.

Khalid Mosalam, Ph.D., Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley and the director of PEER, says that the EQSIM data sets can help earthquake and structural engineers design and develop more earthquake-resistant structures in the future across the greater San Francisco region. Equally as important, such models can help community stakeholders better understand community safety and resilience in those areas.

To connect with SAEA experts in this field and others like Dr. Mosalam, please email PR@SAEA-US.org