Jeroen Tromp granted 2014 INCITE Leadership Award for second consecutive year
Jeroen Tromp, the Blair Professor of Geology and Professor of Applied & Computational Mathematics, recently received a Department of Energy (DOE) Innovative and Novel Computational Impact of Theory and Experiment (INCITE) award. Tromp's project has been allocated 100,000,000 processor hours on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Cray XK7 Titan supercomputer to continue his work on “Global Seismic Tomography Based on Spectral-Element and Adjoint Methods.” Titan is currently the world’s second fastest supercomputer with 17.59 petaflops and over a quarter of a million NVIDIA K20x accelerator cores. This is the second INCITE award for Tromp’s project, which was awarded the same amount of processing hours in 2012. His co-investigator is Olaf Schenk at the University of Lugano, Switzerland.
Tromp aims to map the Earth's interior through the use of global seismic tomography imaging. By harnessing data from thousands of earthquakes recorded by hundreds of seismographs, he and his collaborators will use iterative data assimilation techniques to image Earth's mantle, thereby improving the understanding of underlying physical and chemical processes. The project’s ultimate goal is to move toward "adjoint tomography" of the entire planet. A steady increase in the number of global seismographic stations, combined with improvements in data quality, has substantially increased the amount of data available for the construction of global Earth models. Adjoint tomography ultimately leads to better resolution of tomographic images at all scales, which is essential for understanding mantle dynamics and related surface processes, such as the origin of hotspots and the forces behind plate motions and earthquakes. Higher-resolution wave-speed models are also important for accurately locating earthquakes and are required from an engineering point of view to assess seismic hazards in earthquake-prone regions and to detect nuclear explosions.
Tromp is currently the scientific lead of Global ShakeMovie, Princeton University's near real time, global seismicity portal and serves as the associate director of the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering (PICSciE). PICSciE provides state-of-the-art computing and visualization facilities in collaboration with the Office of Information Technology at Princeton.