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Parallel finite element modeling of earthquake ground response and liquefaction

Jinchi Lu(陆金池)1, Jun Peng (彭军)2, Ahmed Elgamal1, Zhaohui Yang(杨朝晖)1 and Kincho H. Law2

  1. Department of Structural Engineering, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA

  2. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Abstract: Parallel computing is a promising approach to alleviate the computational demand in conducting large-scale finite element analyses. This paper presents a numerical modeling approach for earthquake ground response and liquefaction using the parallel nonlinear finite element program, ParCYCLIC, designed for distributed-memory message-passing parallel computer systems. In ParCYCLIC, finite elements are employed within an incremental plasticity, coupled solid-fluid formulation. A constitutive model calibrated by physical tests represents the salient characteristics of sand liquefaction and associated accumulation of shear deformations. Key elements of the computational strategy employed in ParCYCLIC include the development of a parallel sparse direct solver, the deployment of an automatic domain decomposer, and the use of the Multilevel Nested Dissection algorithm for ordering of the finite element nodes. Simulation results of centrifuge test models using ParCYCLIC are presented. Performance results from grid models and geotechnical simulations show that ParCYCLIC is efficiently scalable to a large number of processors.

Keywords: parallel finite element; domain decomposition; liquefaction; parallel speedup; earthquake; site amplification

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Copyright 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.