Computing & Digital Imaging Facilities

Earth and Planetary Sciences has a diverse computing environment. Each group has computers that meet their specific needs. In general, laboratory equipment tends to be be connected to MS-Windows computers. Macs are used for analysis and writing papers, but this varies from lab to lab. Solaris and Linux computers are often used in fields with high volumes of data that need analysis and/or that use custom analysis programs, such as seismology. The various groups have about 30 Solaris machines, 77 Linux machines (connected on a Condor grid), 230 Macintosh and Windows computers combined and approximately 50 laser printers spread throughout the department. Also, the department has a large selection of software for graphics and computational research needed for specific applications.

We also have a small computing lab that is available for general use that consists of three Macs, one PC, a black and white and color laser printer. A flatbed scanner is also available.

High Performance Computer Clusters:

  • Planetary Research (Pleiades): The UCSC Astrophysics Supercomputer "Pleiades" is what Earth & Planetary Sciences Professors Gary Glatzmaier and Erik Asphaug use in their research of the formation of stars and planets and the interior dynamics of stars and planets. This cluster contains 207 Dell PowerEdge 1950 compute nodes, three PowerEdge 2950 storage nodes, and one PowerEdge2950 login/management node. Each compute node has 8 GB of memory, two 2.33 GHz dual-core Xeon 5148LV processors and 80 GB local storage.  The login node has 16 GB memory and two 2.33 GHz quad-core Xeon E5345 processors. The global system storage includes a 10 TB fast storage over the IBRIX file system and a 60 TB archival storage over NFS. Each node, through a DDR 4X InfiniBand HCA PCI Express card, is interconnected to a non-blocking DDR InfiniBand switch fabric. As well as being used for Earth and planetary sciences research, this cluster is also used for cosmology, high energy astrophysics, and adaptive optics research by groups in the Physics and Astronomy and Astrophysics Departments, as well as by Lick Observatory.
  • Modeling and Image Lab (MIP): The high performance computer cluster 'MIP', which researchers at the Modeling and Imaging Lab use to develop advanced processing methods for seismic modeling, imaging and inversion has 26 computation nodes plus two head nodes, each with two 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon 800 FSB CPU, 2 G RAM. This cluster also has 3 TB of storage, as well as 36 Gb x 26 local disks and uses Gigabit ethernet for the node interconnects.
  • Climate Change and Impacts and Earth Modeling Laboratories Facilities include a 128 core Dell PowerEdge M1000e Blade Server with PowerEdge M600 blade servers, numerous high-performance workstations and servers, and multi-terabyte data storage and backup facilities. The computational facilities are sponsored by the California Energy Commission, the National Science Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and UCSC. Visit the Paleoclimate and Climate Change Research Group for more information.

The Crustal Imaging Laboratory (CIL)

Established in 1990 to provide researchers with the sophisticated hardware and software resources necessary to perform high-resolution studies of the Earth's surface and outer layers, these facilities consist of a network of Sun, Linux and PC workstations, and a variety of input/output and mass-storage devices. Software includes both commercial (Kingdom Suite, ENVI, Global Mapper) and academic (SIOSeis, GAMIT) processing packages for seismic and surface imaging, and geodesy. Research is focused on remote sensing and GPS analyses, surface bathymetric and roughness mapping, and both 2D and 3D seismic reflection imaging. Contact Eli Sliver for more information.