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Earthshaking Visualizations

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Movies created by SDSC visualization experts using data from a sensor-equipped building give UCSD engineers a powerful tool to explore structure performance from different perspectives in full-scale earthquake shake table experiments.

Credit: Amit Chourasia, SDSC Visualization Services.

San Diego, CA, April 11, 2007 -- The powerful earthquake struck suddenly, shaking the seven-story building so hard it bent, cracked and swayed in response.

But this was no ordinary earthquake. In a groundbreaking series of tests, engineering researchers from UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering jarred a full-size 275-ton building erected on a shake table, duplicating ground motions recorded during the January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles, California.

To record the impact on the building, the structure was fitted with some 600 sensors and filmed as the shake table simulated the earthquake, yielding a flood of data including stress, strain, and acceleration -- so much information that engineers were having a hard time making sense of it all.

That’s where visualization experts from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego came in. Read more and watch the visualizations.

 

 

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Media Contacts

Rex Graham
Jacobs School of Engineering
Phone: 858-822-3075
rgraham@soe.ucsd.edu

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