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Earth Exhibit Comes to New York City Thanks to SuperMUC Simulations

GCS NewsFlash 13/2018

Results of computationally intensive simulations, aimed at studying processes in the Earth’s mantle, can now be admired by the visitors of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City.

The new permanent exhibit is based on the results of a research project led by Professor Hans-Peter Bunge of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (LMU), who leveraged the computing power of the high-performance computing system SuperMUC installed at Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) in Garching in order to study inner-Earth phenomena. He and his team have developed a computer model for simulating processes that take place in Earth’s deep interior and illustrating their impact on the planet’s surface. The new exhibit, which depicts convection in the Earth’s mantle, is a 3-D printed physical model based on a snapshot from such a computer simulation. The exhibit was just added to the displays in the museum’s “David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman-Hall of Planet Earth” (HOPE).

Exhibit at AMNH: 3-D printed physical model of Earth

The 3-D printed convection model now on show in the American Museum of Natural History is based on a computer simulation done by geophysicists at LMU. In order to provide a clear view into the model that depicts the temperature distribution driving the dynamic processes in the mantle, the continents are shown in outline and the oceans are omitted. The coldest, sinking parts of the mantle are shown in red, and its hottest, rising parts in yellow. © AMNH / D. Finnin

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mp4 Video, Animation of the 3-D model - This animated sequence is part of a simulation carried out on SuperMUC and depicts the evolution of the mantle over the past 200 million years. The visualization illustrates how dynamic processes in the Earth’s interior affect the planet’s surface. Not only does it show the continents from different perspectives, it also portrays the convection currents that are driven by temperature differences within the mantle. In this case, the regions shown in red correspond to the hot and rising rock, while the colder, sinking regions are depicted in blue. The animation starts at present day and shows the mantle evolution backward in time. © LRZ/LMU, M. Wiedemann & B. Schuberth

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Link to full LMU press release.

July 16, 2018