Third M.I.T. Conference on Computational Fluid and Solid Mechanics June 14–17, 2005  

Challenges in the visualization of a two-dimensional mantle dynamics simulation using one billion tracers

M.L. Rudolpha,*, T.V. Geryab, D.A. Yuenc
aOberlin College, Oberlin, OH 44074, USA bSwiss Federal Institute of Technology, Earth Science Institute, Zurich, CH-8092, Switzerland cUniversity of Minnesota, Minnesota Supercomputing Institute and Department of Geology and Geophysics, Minneapolis,MN 55455, USA

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We have developed a two-dimensional numerical method to model the process of slab subduction using a marker-cell method together with a conservative finite-difference method that accounts for hydration and partial melting in the thermal, chemical, mechanical, rheological, and petrological domains. The marker-in-cell approach is ideal for this complex geophysical problem [1] because it allows for the resolution of extremely small-scale lithological and thermal structures produced as a result of the intense mechanical mixing of different rocks [2,3]. A two-dimensional simulation employing over one billion tracers with multiple fields presents many visualization hurdles. In this paper we discuss the methods that we have used to interpret the data from this simulation including high-resolution visualization on a display wall and a web-based visualization system that we have developed using an hierarchical data format to achieve sub-second response times when accessing extremely large datasets.

Keywords:  Geophysics; Convection; Multicomponent; Visualization; Display wall; Web interface

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