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Department of Geology and Geophysics|Facilities

Geophysical Computational FacilitiesGeophysics Graph

Our geophysical computational facilities consist of 15 workstations for each student that run Linux on high-speed modern hardware and two state-of-the-art computer clusters, the Seismic Cluster, code-named “Teapot”, and the Hydrology Cluster, code named "Hydra".

“Teapot” is an cluster with 43 computing nodes with dual and quad core Intel Xeon processors (for a total of 300 cores) running at 3+GHz. Each computing node is equipped with at least 16 GB fast-access memory. The cluster also includes a storage system, which currently has 24 TB (1TB = 1024 GB) disk storage. The whole system is connected using DDR (dual data rate) Infiniband Interconnect, which provides up to 20 Gbps bandwidth. This cluster has been playing an increasingly important role in computational geophysical research in the Department. Several cutting-edge seismic imaging software packages, some are commercial and some are developed in-house, are currently running on this cluster and producing high-resolution seismic images of underground earth structure at different geographic scales. Figure 1 shows a 3D point-cloud rendering of a sensitivity kernel used in full-wave seismic tomography studies and Figure 2 shows a recent full-wave tomographic image of the crustal structure in Southern California. In addition to the normal CPU computing nodes, this cluster is also equipped with 21 Fermi GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) computing units, which have the most advanced GPU computing architecture ever built. The Fermi GPU can provide up to 2.5 teraflops of double-precision calculations and is about 5 times better in performance per watt than the fastest CPU. For data-intensive applications, such as the solution of full-3D seismic wave equation, the Fermi GPUs offer a tremendous performance boost.
Geophysics Graph

“Hydra” is an cluster with 16 computing nodes with two dual core AMD processors (for a total of 64 cores) running at 2.8GHz. Each computing node is equipped with at least 4 or 32 GB fast-access memory. The cluster also includes a storage system, which currently has 8 TB (1TB = 1024 GB) disk storage. The whole system is connected using SDR (single data rate) Infiniband Interconnect, which provides up to 10 Gbps bandwidth.

The Hydra cluster is used in a variety of subsurface fluid flow research, including flow and transport modeling in aquifers, parameter estimation for deep reservoirs, uncertainty analysis in CO2 sequestration modeling and waste disposal studies, and high performance computing.

In addition to the in-house computing facilities, the Department has full access to the new NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC), which is being built in Cheyenne and will be online in June 2012 (http://nwsc.ucar.edu). The NWSC is the result of a partnership between the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the University of Wyoming, the State of Wyoming and the National Science Foundation (NSF). It will provide a world-class center for high-performance scientific computing in geosciences. And it will also become the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputing center with the smallest possible carbon footprint.


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