Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you, also on behalf of the Rector of this University Professor José Rodríguez, to the PASI 2013 Advanced School about “The science of predicting and understanding tsunamis, storm surges and tidal phenomena”. Professor Rodríguez couldn’t come to this opening ceremony, as he had wished, and sends a warm and special greeting to all participants.
I think it is important to pay attention to the acronym PASI, which stands for Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute. This acronym conveys very well one of the basic ideas of these meetings: international cooperation, which for obvious reasons is most important in all fields of sciences but especially in the domain of the sciences dealing with earthquakes and tsunamis.
It is a pleasure for me to thank Professor Lorena Barba and her crew at Boston University and at this university as well, for the organization of this PASI school. Her already legendary energy was instrumental for this meeting to become possible. It is also a pleasure to thank the institutions and organizations which have made possible this conference:
- the National Science Foundation of USA,
- the Office of Naval Research of USA,
- the Chilean Navy,
- the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean Navy,
- CONICYT, which is the Chilean Science Foundation,
- the National Laboratory for High-Performance Computing,
- the Scientific and Technological Center of Valparaíso,
- the Technical University Federico Santa María, USM.
This is the second PASI School on a related subject at this university. The first one, PASI 2011, took place exactly two years ago and its central subject at that time was “Scientific Computing in the Americas: the challenge of massive parallelism”, which is closely related to the main subject of PASI 2013.
Some of our guests today were also active participants in PASI 2011, so they already know the history of USM. But for some of our guests today, this is their first time at USM and probably their first time in South America.
Please let me tell you a few facts about USM. This is a small but complex university, devoted entirely to science and engineering. It is a private university, and one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in Chile in those fields of knowledge. It owes its existence to the vision of the Chilean entrepreneur Federico Santa María, who made a huge fortune trading in sugar in France in the last decades of the nineteenth century. He died in Paris in 1920 and having no descendants, he donated his fortune to the city of Valparaíso with the specific purpose of developing a School of Arts and Crafts and a School of Engineers. Teaching and research activities started in 1931. In his will, Santa María stated that the first generations of Teachers, Researchers and Professors should come from Europe, especially from Germany. His will also contained a clause to the effect that in case this project could not be developed in Valparaíso, all his fortune should be donated to charity institutions in the United States of America, a nation he greatly admired.
In the first decades, efforts were concentrated on some branches of Engineering, including Mechanical, Chemical, Civil and Electrical Engineering. Very rapidly the newly created institution grew as one of the strongest Engineering schools in the country and Latin America as well.
Although a private university, USM was also supported (and still is) by the Chilean state. But times were changing very rapidly. The 1970s was a period of changes for the whole of Chilean society and in particular for Chilean universities. Things had simply to change and adapt to the modern times. Around 1970, USM opened the university to a much larger number of students while remaining focused in Engineering and Sciences. The major character of the institution was, nevertheless, preserved as much as possible.
Through the years, USM has grown to a medium-size, fully accredited university with around 14,000 students in 6 campuses in 5 major cities in central Chile: Valparaíso (main campus), Viña del Mar, Santiago (2 campuses), Concepción and Rancagua. Around 100 foreign students come every year to study at USM; they come from different countries including Germany, France, Sweden, USA, and others. Almost all academic departments have M.Sc. programs besides the Engineering degrees. In addition, there are 5 Ph.D. programs in: Physics, Electronics, Computer Science and Informatics, Chemistry, and Biotechnology.
Recently the SCImago Research Group distinguished USM as the university of highest normalized impact in Latin America, in particular in the fields of Physics and Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
Now let me say a few words about the main subject of our meeting. Chile is indeed a beautiful country, but with a long and sad history of earthquakes and tsunamis. The country is used to shaking ground. In the past two years it has experienced more than 40 earthquakes of magnitude 6.0 or higher.
On February 27, 2010, an 8.8 (moment magnitude scale) earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile, from Valparaíso (this city!) in the north to the Araucanía region in the south, lasting about three minutes. It was one of the ten largest earthquakes ever recorded. Tremors were felt in Argentina in cities as far as Buenos Aires, and in the south of Perú as well.
The earthquake triggered a tsunami that devastated several coastal towns in central Chile. The earthquake killed 525 people and inflicted $30 billion US dollars in damage.
Thus, in this country we have no excuse: we simply must learn to understand earthquakes and tsunamis. Following the great mathematician David Hilbert (Königsberg, September 8th 1930) allow me to say that: “We must know, and we will know”. This is utterly important for this country, for this university, for engineering and especially for our Civil Engineering Faculty.
Therefore, a PASI School about “The science of predicting and understanding tsunamis, storm surges and tidal phenomena” is most welcome not only for this university but for the whole country as well.
Once again I welcome you to PASI 2013 and wish you an interesting and stimulating conference.
We are happy to announce an award from the Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG) of US$35,000 in support of the Pan-American Advanced Studies Institute “The science of predicting and understanding tsunamis, storm surges and tidal phenomena”. The program manager is Augustus Vogel, PhD, Associate Director for Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa.
This funding will support the PASI organization in several ways, including the scholarships for nine (9) participants from Latin American countries. These participants are traveling to Chile from Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Argentina.
It will also fund local accommodation for over a dozen Chilean students attending PASI, who are coming from top to bottom of the length of this geographically unique country.
The PASI organization is very pleased to be able to provide an enhanced experience for all participants, also thanks to this grant, with student assistants for administration and technical matters, daily refreshments during breaks, hosting of the keynote speakers, and needed supplies.
ONR Global promotes collaboration between the US Navy and international scientists, maintaining physical presence in five continents. It sponsors various programs around the world, including a visiting scientist program, collaborative science programs and the Naval International Cooperative Opportunities in Science and Technology Program (NICOP), which provides direct research support to international scientists to help address naval science and technology challenges.
The PASI organizers and Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María are very grateful for the support of ONR Global
Tom Reed, a senior solution architect for NVIDIA, will attend PASI on the invitation of lead organizer Prof. Lorena Barba. His role at NVIDIA is supporting the US Department of Defense and Intelligence Community, and he is focused on awareness and understanding of how GPU technologies are changing what is possible in that realm. Prior to joining NVIDIA, Mr. Reed spent 20 years with Silicon Graphics where his tenure included roles in systems engineering, benchmarking & performance engineering, software development, and professional services.
Mr. Reed is looking forward to learning more about the needs of the atmospheric- and ocean-modeling fields, and about the community codes that are used there. He will interact with PASI participants as they develop their group projects, and answer any questions about using GPUs in their work.
We look forward to discussing with him about the latest developments in high-performance computing hardware and the role that GPUs could play for improving performance of ocean-modeling codes.
Research Associate, High-Performance Computing Center, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Milton is currently a research associate in Professor Alvaro Coutinho’s research group at the High-Performance Computing Center at UFRJ. He works in a project supported by Petrobras on the simulation of green water effects on ships. His role is to simulate the waves and sea conditions using a two-fluid finite element solver (VOF).
School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dmitry is a PhD student at the SFOS at UAF and his main topic of research is coastal effects of tsunami waves. To investigate such problems he intends to use 3D Volume-of-Fluid modesl. Dmitry is proficient in C and Fortran and has strong experience in data processing with such scripting languages as GNU R, Matlab and Python.
Research scientist, CONICET, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina
Luis is an assistant professor and research scientist at CONICET (National Council for Scientific and Technological Research in Argentina). His research activities are mainly focused on numerical modeling of groundwater flow and he is interested in studying head fluctuations in coastal aquifers induced by ocean tides.
Postdoctoral fellow, Dept. of Computational Mechanics, University of Campinas, Brazil
Josue has been working with the boundary element method since his MSc studies in 2006. In his PhD, he moved to modeling of soil-foundation interactions. In his postdoctoral research, he is using these models to understand the influence of incoming waves on nano-facilities and synchrotron light source laboratories.
Faculty, Department of Engineering, Fundación Universitaria Católica del Norte, Colombia
Sadid is a Specialist in Management Coastal Zone from the petty officer naval school “ENSB” in Colombia. He is a technologist in physical oceanography. He has worked for six years in the Colombian Navy’s oceanographic and hydrographic research center. He published a paper on “Observations of atmospheric tides in Cartagena de Indias”, and has another paper under review on the “Variations of physics and chemical parameters in the coastal station No. 5 in Tumaco – Nariño”
MSc student, Faculty of Physical Sciences, National University of San Marcos, Peru
Nabilt is a research physicist at the Peruvian Tsunami Warning Center and she is working, together with professional staff of the Peruvian Navy, on developing tsunami flood maps for her country through numerical modeling. She is familiar with open source packages such as TUNAMI-N2 and NEOWAVE, has developed in codes Fortran, Matlab, and Generic Mapping Tools programming.
(from Peru) currently, a PhD student at University Paul Sabatier, France
Kobi Mosquera is a physicist and is part of the staff of the IGP (Instituto Geofisíco del Perú). His work deals with the role of long equatorial waves (Kelvin and Rossby) in the Pacific Ocean, specifically, the El Niño phenomenon. To achieme this goal, he develops simple ocean models (shallow water type) in the FORTRAN language and also uses in-situ, remote or reanalysis data for the analysis.
PhD student, Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, University of Texas at Austin
Prapti is currently working in the computational hydraulics group at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences under Professor Clint Dawson. She is interested in modeling flooding in coastal lowlands and watersheds due to inland storm surge and torrential rain and studying the solutions to these problems in the context of Runge-Kutta discontinuous Galerkin methods.
Researcher in the Ecuador National Tsunami Warning Center
Willington has worked for the Ecuador National Tsunami Warning Center since 2006. Currently, he is the head of the Galapagos Research Marine Center. He is an active researcher in tsunami phenomena, focusing on applying science to the tsunami warning process.
Research Professor, Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Angel is currently a research professor in the Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions group, in the “Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera” at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM. His research interests are mainly on geophysical fluid dynamics. He collaborates in a pilot project with the objective of forecasting storm surges originated from tropical storms using ADCIRC.
PhD student, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
Emmanuel has been a graduate student in the Geophysics PhD program at the Scripps Institution of Oceangraphy since September 2010, and currently works for Prof. David T. Sandwell on developing marine gravity field models from satellite altimetry data. His interest in tsunami modeling lies primarily with the possible effects of rough seafloor topography on the propagation of tsunamis, and how this might need to be taken into account for coastal hazard assessments.
PhD student, Department of Mathematics and Mechanics, IIMAS, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
Rosa Vargas is a first year PhD student. Her main research interests are numerical modeling and the study of a non-local model for water-waves with variable bottom. She is interested in developing a good model that can predict the behavior of traveling-wave solutions, solitons, under the influence of variable bathymetry.
We are happy to announce the second group of participants selected to attend the PASI, with travel grants. The first group was announced November 13.
There will be a new announcement soon with more participants from Latin American countries.
Dr. Dresback received an MS and PHD in Civil Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Her research includes the use of computational models to help in the prediction of hurricane storm surge and flooding in coastal areas and the incorporation of transport effects in coastal seas and oceans in ADCIRC.
Chase is a first-year PhD student whose research interests include particle methods and numerical modeling of free-surface and multiphase flow. He received his BSE in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan. Chase is currently working on the downscaling of global climate models to regional scales to asses potential changes in future flooding, and is interested in integrating the use of GPU computing to his research.
Prof. Leykekhman received a PhD in mathematics from Cornell University in 2004, after which he was a postdoc in applied mathematics at Rice University. Presently, he is an assistant professor at University of Connecticut in the department of Mathematics with a joint appointment in the Marine Sciences department. His main research interest is in numerical solutions to partial differential equation specializing in mathematical theory of finite element methods. He is interested in learning about mathematical theory and computational aspects of storm and tidal phenomena and in applying the techniques to Long Island Sound.
PhD student, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University
Jessica earned her BA in Earth and Planetary Science from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010. She is currently a PhD student at Northwestern University working on understanding the historical seismicity of southern Chile and modeling wave propagation through the interior of the earth.
PhD student, Computer Science Department, University of California, Davis
Jason has an BS degree in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University. He is currently a PhD student working in a GPU Computing research group under Professor John Owens at the University of California, Davis. His research interests include GPU computing, parallel algorithms and architectures, and scientific computing. He was an intern at Intel Corporation in 2012, where he analyzed the performance of a compressible fluid dynamics code on Intel architectures.
Lillian Soto-Cordero (Cancelled, with regrets)Staff scientist, Puerto Rico Seismic Network
Lillian Soto-Cordero is a research project manager for (1) the Seismic and geodetic instrumentation and seismological study of South-Eastern Puerto Rico (FEMA Grant) and (2) the Regional Moment Tensor Study of Deep Earthquakes in the PR/VI region.
Dr. Terrel is a High Performance Computing researcher at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. In this role, Andy helps users utilize supercomputers with Python and studies methods for speeding up computational fluid dynamics. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a PhD in Computer Science in 2010 and has been programming in Python for the last decade. He is a contributor to numerous open source projects including FEniCS Project and Sympy
We are happy to announce the first group of participants selected to attend the PASI, with travel grants. They are an accomplished group of scholars, including staff researchers at national labs and doctoral students from across the United States.
This group of seven young scientists includes some with a background in physical oceanography, others with training in seismology and yet others with experience in applied mathematics and high-performance computing. It is a multi-disciplinary set of talented people with an interest in applying their talents to the science of modeling tsunamis and storm surges.
For those applicants still waiting to hear from us, please note that final decisions have not been made, and the second group of selected participants will be announced very soon.
Dr Cambazoglu is an early-career researcher working in the field of physical oceanography and coastal engineering. His main research interests are numerical modeling of coastal ocean and nearshore environments in order to understand physical processes and to improve the predictive capabilities of forecast models.
Min is a fourth-year PhD student of Geophysics at the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. She is interested in using numerical modeling methods to investigate lithosphere dynamics and earthquake mechanisms. She is also interested in investigating the long-term tectonics in Chile and its relationship with the short-term seismic and tsunami processes.
PhD Student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Brian is a second-year PhD student working on the physical modeling of subaerial landslide-generated tsunamis in various topographic scenarios based on real-world events. He uses physical models with a landslide tsunami generator using large amounts of natural river gravel accelerated with pneumatic pistons. Before starting the PhD, he worked for five years as a project manager and commercial diver for an engineering firm in Texas, helping design storm drainage systems and inspect waterfront structures.
David is a first-year PhD student. He double-majored in mathematics and computer science at The University of Texas-Pan American. His research involves high-performance numerical simulations of fluid flow using high-order spectral element methods in scalable GPU frameworks. He is an experienced programmer, proficient in C/C++, Java, and Python and has experience in parallel computing using OpenMP and MPI for traditional CPU-based clusters and GPGPU programming languages (CUDA, OpenCL).
Diego obtained his BEng in Geophysics from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 2009. He works in real-time geodesy and seismology and is concerned with rapid modeling of large earthquakes and their associated phenomena.
Wei-Cheng has an MS degree from National Taiwan University and worked as a professional engineer in the Water Resources Agency of Taiwan helping build regulation for flood management in flood-prone areas. He is now a second-year PhD student doing research in wave attenuation caused by heterogeneous vegetation, using both laboratory observation and numerical simulations. He is familiar with many codes of the field, including ADCIRC, GeoClaw, FUNWAVE and others.
Yulong obtained his PhD in Mathematics from Brown University, working with high-order numerical methods for hyperbolic conservation laws. He then spent three years at Courant Institute, New York University, working in multiscale modeling and computation for complex geophysical flows. He is a staff scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an assistant professor at the Department of Mathematics, University of Tennessee. His research interest is mainly in scientific computing and numerical analysis, specifically, efficient/accurate numerical methods for partial differential equations arising from geophysical flows and other applications.
Chile announced a five-year grant to form a new National Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Natural Disaster Management. The center will develop, integrate, and transfer scientific knowledge to help deal more effectively with the consequences of natural disasters. This initiative is a wide, integrative and interdisciplinary research effort aimed at transforming Chile into a world-recognized pole of excellence for the scientific study of extreme natural disaster scenarios.
The award of the FONDAP program —announced just days ago— was made after a stringent evaluation in a highly competitive process involving an international panel of experts. The lead institution is the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, PUC) and the partners are: Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN), Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM) and Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello (UNAB).
Chile’s physical environment is highly dynamic and diverse, with frequent occurrences of large events of tectonic origin (earthquakes, tsunamis and volcano eruptions), extreme climatic events (heavy rains, flash floods, storm surges), and subsequent threats that may arise as a combination of these (landslides, lahars, debris flows, or severe air pollution episodes).
Chile is also going through major socioeconomic transformations: having joined the OECD, it is expected to become a developed nation within the next decade. Economic growth has increased built-environment exposure to natural disasters, while also decreasing population tolerance to its consequences. The expected growth will only increase the challenges and demands in terms of social equity, urban and territorial planning, and environmental and industrial co-existence. From both natural and social sciences perspectives, Chile can be viewed as a complex laboratory, where the latest models and theories on hazard propagation and impact, or disaster mitigation and management can be tested, improved and further developed.
During its first 5 years, the Center will focus on the study of earthquake, tsunamis, and floods, promoting national and international alliances to address the different related research areas —from geophysics and engineering, to psychology, sociology, decision and communication sciences.
The center’s six interconnected Research Lines are:
- Solid Earth Processes,
- Surface Water Processes,
- Risk Assessment,
- Disaster Management,
- Sustainable Risk Mitigation, and
- Information, Communication and Automation Technologies.
Through them, it will contribute to elucidate the factors influencing the interactions and response of the affected populations, the local organizations, the regional and central governments, infrastructure, lifelines and industrial facilities, under realistic Extreme Event Scenarios. The main goal of the Center will be to support the country in the design and implementation of cost-effective mitigation measures to achieve less exposed, better prepared, and more resilient communities and territories.
Luis Cifuentes, Structural Engineer (PUC), PhD. in Engineering and Public Policies (Carnegie Mellon University, USA), Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering Department, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Photograph above, right.)
Rodrigo Cienfuegos, Hydraulic Engineer (PUC), PhD. in Earth Sciences (Université de Grenoble, France), Associate Professor, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering Department, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Photograph above, left.)
Prof. Rodrigo Cienfuegos will be an invited speaker at the PASI.
We are delighted to announce that Professor Timothy Warburton (Rice University) will be joining the PASI team of instructors. Prof. Warburton will offer a module on discontinuous Galerkin models of shallow-water phenomena (originally scheduled to be covered by Prof. Frank Giraldo of the Naval Postgraduate School, who had to cancel his participation, with regrets).
Prof. Warburton will also discuss the use of GPU hardware for shallow-water and tsunami simulations. This is a “hot topic”, without any doubt: harnessing the performance of on-chip parallelism for such time-sensitive simulations is an exciting and recent development. We are fortunate to have the unique experience of Warburton to lead this module at the PASI.
We also can now announce the keynote lecture by Dr Sergio Barrientos (University of Chile), titled: “Crustal Deformations Associated with Earthquakes”. This lecture will provide context to the rest of the summer school, focusing on the origin of most tsunami waves: the displacement of the terrain in the sea floor due to a seismic event.
Tsunamis are among the most significant large-scale hazards to which many coastal communities around the world are exposed, and Chile is no exception. In fact, the country’s high seismicity along the subduction zone between the Nazca and Sudamerican plates has triggered many tsunami events since records are kept. Its long stretch of coast is also exposed to trans-oceanic tsunamis generated elsewhere around the Pacific Ocean.
There are several ways to increase resilience of coastal communities to this hazard. An efficient tsunami warning system is especially valuable to alert coastal communities and prepare goverment and emergency response authorities. Chile’s long coastline and proximity to the fault zone, however, pose significant challenges for the accurate and fast determination of relevant parameters such as the arrival time and wave characteristics along the coast.
Prof. Patricio Catalán is the Principal Investigator of a new award of over US$700,000 by FONDEF-CONICYT to develop and implement a database of pre-modeled tsunami scenarios, using high-performance computing. This project is a collaboration involving researchers from the Civil Engineering Department (Departamento de Obras Civiles) at Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, the Scientific and Technological Center of Valparaiso (Centro Cientifico Tecnológico de Valparaíso, CCTVal), Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and the National Hydrographic and Oceanic Service of the Navy (SHOA). The three-year project aims to develop a forecast database similar to that available in countries such as Japan and Malaysia.
The extent of the Chilean coast and large range of tsunami magnitudes means that populating the database using traditional tsunami numerical models would take a very long tim. The research group will address this by developing and implementing tsunami modeling techniques that take advantage of the performance of Graphic Processing Units, GPUs.
The interval between events is used to populate the database, and in case of an event, table look-up procedures are used to find the best match between pre-computed scenarios and actual earthquake parameters, thus reducing the evaluation time to a mimimum.
Other products of the proposal include a detailed benchmarking of models and analysis of the 2010 Chilean tsunami, and the development of tsunami modeling guidelines.
- USM Noticias, press release announcing the award for the project led by Prof. Catalan (in Spanish)
- Official announcement at FONDEF website (Spanish)
- Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Chilean Navy (SHOA)
Applications for travel funding from US participants will continue to be received until October 30, 2012. However, applications already received are under review, and travel grants will begin to be awarded to the best applicants.
Latin American participants can still submit applications, and their deadline is November 15, 2012.
Self-funded participants are welcome and can continue to register; we will close registrations as we near the school capacity.