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The Project
Fields of Expertise in ASCETE

The main objective of the ASCETE-project is the joint development of advanced simulation technology via the combination of innovative methodological approaches in earthquake and tsunami modelling with extremely efficient algorithmic concepts from computer science. Through the development of an integrative simulation environment a better understanding of the fundamental conditions of tsunami generation is envisaged, considering fully dynamic rupture processes coupled with advanced hydrodynamic models. This simulation environment shall enable us to answer the core question:

Under which conditions do undersea earthquakes generate devastating tsunamis?


To this end, a number of key and most relevant scientific questions have to be addressed beforehand such as:

  • How does the dynamic rupture propagate on a geometrically complex fault?
  • How does rupture propagate on large-scale earthquakes, and what are the conditions whether rupture stops or becomes a large event?
  • What subsurface conditions lead to surface-rupturing or buried earthquakes?
  • What are crucial conditions of stress orientation and fault plane geometry?
  • What role do shallow dip angles, splay faults, and shallow weak zones play for near-shore tsunami generation?
  • Which earthquake parameters define the magnitude of the generated tsunami?
  • What rupture parameters have the strongest influence on the water column?
  • Is there a threshold magnitude for tsunami wave generation, and how can this be understood physically?
  • How does dynamic seafloor deformation influence the tsunami behaviour at the shore?
  • What is the effect of the interaction of a tsunami wave with complex topography or with tidal waves, with respect to the characteristic of the initial condition?
  • Do the seismic waves generated by the earthquake have a major influence on the harmfulness of the generated tsunami?
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