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Lawrence Livermore Lab Seismologists To Run Simulation Of Napa Earthquake Using Supercomputers

LIVERMORE (CBS SF) -- Seismologists at the Lawrence Livermore Lab will use their supercomputers to simulate detailed ground motion from last month's earthquake in Napa.

Scientists hope the seismic simulations will give them a better understanding of the distribution of shaking and damage that accompanies larger earthquakes.

"This earthquake will help us improve the 3D model to better fit the observed seismic motions, especially at higher frequencies than previously possible," Lawrence Livermore Seismologist Artie Rodgers said.

The slip on the West Napa fault that caused the magnitude 6.0 earthquake was not the most likely place for a large quake in the Bay Area, according to the seismologists.

"It's a bit of a surprise at this site, though there was a magnitude 6.3 possibly on this fault back in 1893," Rodgers said.

The seismologists will use descriptions of the earthquake source from UC Berkeley Seismological Professor Douglas Dreger to determine how the details of the rupture process may have impacted the ground motion, directing energy toward Napa.

COMPLETE QUAKE COVERAGE: CBS Earthquake Resource Center
DID YOU FEEL IT?: USGS Shake Map For Northern California
LIVE QUAKE MAP: Track Real-Time Hot Spots
BAY AREA FAULTS: Interactive Map Of Local Faults

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