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A Suite of Exercises for Verifying Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Codes

Harris, Ruth A. and Bai, Kangchen and Ampuero, Jean-Paul (2018) A Suite of Exercises for Verifying Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Codes. Seismological Research Letters, 89 (3). pp. 1146-1162. ISSN 0895-0695. doi:10.1785/0220170222.

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We describe a set of benchmark exercises that are designed to test if computer codes that simulate dynamic earthquake rupture are working as intended. These types of computer codes are often used to understand how earthquakes operate, and they produce simulation results that include earthquake size, amounts of fault slip, and the patterns of ground shaking and crustal deformation. The benchmark exercises examine a range of features that scientists incorporate in their dynamic earthquake rupture simulations. These include implementations of simple or complex fault geometry, off‐fault rock response to an earthquake, stress conditions, and a variety of formulations for fault friction. Many of the benchmarks were designed to investigate scientific problems at the forefronts of earthquake physics and strong ground motions research. The exercises are freely available on our website for use by the scientific community.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Bai, Kangchen0000-0002-9788-6404
Ampuero, Jean-Paul0000-0002-4827-7987
Additional Information:© 2018 Seismological Society of America. Published Online 4 April 2018. Data and Resources: The benchmark exercise TPV35 includes the option to compare simulations with data from the 2004 Parkfield earthquake, and these data came from a published source listed in the References. The other benchmark exercises described in this particle are purely computational simulations. The article refers to the Southern California Earthquake Center‐U.S. Geological Survey (SCEC‐USGS) dynamic rupture code verification website (, last accessed March 2018). This website contains the descriptions for all of the benchmark exercises, in addition to other information about the project. Many of our group’s dynamic earthquake rupture codes are listed in Table 1. Codes that can be accessed online include fdfault (, PyLith (, SeisSol (, SPECFEM3D (, and WaveQLab3D ( All websites were last accessed on March 2018. This article received insightful U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) internal reviews from Andy Barbour and Fred Pollitz, and helpful journal reviews from SRL Editor‐in‐Chief Zhigang Peng, an anonymous SRL Associate Editor, and from SRL reviewers Martin Mai and an anonymous reviewer. Funding for this Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)‐USGS project was provided by SCEC, by the USGS, and by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (via SCEC and via the USGS‐PGE CRADA). We authors are appreciative of contributions from students, postdocs, and junior and senior researchers who have helped and encouraged us over the years on our path forward. These include but are not limited to Ralph Archuleta, Steve Day, Nadia Lapusta, Joe Andrews, Geoff Ely, Percy Galvez, Elizabeth Templeton‐Barrett, Seok Goo Song, David Oglesby, Yi Liu, Arben Pitarka, Nora DeDontney, Hiro Noda, Ryan Payne, Harsha Bhat, Ahmed Elbanna, Xiao Ma, Peter Moczo, Martin Mai, Jim Rice, Renata Dmowska, Tom Hanks, Paul Somerville, and Norm Abrahamson. This is SCEC Publication Number 7960. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)UNSPECIFIED
Pacific Gas and Electric CompanyUNSPECIFIED
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Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Southern California Earthquake Center7960
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180405-093148669
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Official Citation:Ruth A. Harris, Michael Barall, Brad Aagaard, Shuo Ma, Daniel Roten, Kim Olsen, Benchun Duan, Dunyu Liu, Bin Luo, Kangchen Bai, Jean‐Paul Ampuero, Yoshihiro Kaneko, Alice‐Agnes Gabriel, Kenneth Duru, Thomas Ulrich, Stephanie Wollherr, Zheqiang Shi, Eric Dunham, Sam Bydlon, Zhenguo Zhang, Xiaofei Chen, Surendra Nadh Somala, Christian Pelties, Josué Tago, Victor Manuel Cruz‐Atienza, Jeremy Kozdon, Eric Daub, Khurram Aslam, Yuko Kase, Kyle Withers, Luis Dalguer; A Suite of Exercises for Verifying Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Codes. Seismological Research Letters ; 89 (3): 1146–1162. doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85632
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Apr 2018 20:51
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:30

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