A Fast 3D Finite-Element Solver for Large-Scale Seismic Soil Liquefaction Analysis

  • Ryota KusakabeEmail author
  • Kohei Fujita
  • Tsuyoshi Ichimura
  • Muneo Hori
  • Lalith Wijerathne
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11537)


The accumulation of spatial data and development of computer architectures and computational techniques raise expectations for large-scale soil liquefaction simulations using highly detailed three-dimensional (3D) soil-structure models; however, the associated large computational cost remains the major obstacle to realizing this in practice. In this study, we increased the speed of large-scale 3D soil liquefaction simulation on computers with many-core wide SIMD architectures. A previous study overcame the large computational cost by expanding a method for large-scale seismic response analysis for application in soil liquefaction analysis; however, that algorithm did not assume the heterogeneity of the soil liquefaction problem, resulting in a load imbalance among CPU cores in parallel computations and limiting performance. Here we proposed a load-balancing method suitable for soil liquefaction analysis. We developed an efficient algorithm that considers the physical characteristics of soil liquefaction phenomena in order to increase the speed of solving the target linear system. The proposed method achieved a 26-fold increase in speed over the previous study. Soil liquefaction simulations were performed using large-scale 3D models with up to 3.5 billion degrees-of-freedom on an Intel Xeon Phi (Knights Landing)-based supercomputer system (Oakforest-PACS).


Soil liquefaction Fast and scalable solver Large-scale analysis Finite-element method 


  1. 1.
    Akai, K.: Geotechnical reconnaissance of the effects of the January 17, 1995, Hyogoken-Nanbu earthquake. University of California at Berkeley, Japan. Earthquake Engineering Research Center (1995)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Golub, G.H., Ye, Q.: Inexact preconditioned conjugate gradient method with inner-outer iteration. SIAM J. Sci. Comput. 21(4), 1305–1320 (1999). Scholar
  3. 3.
    Iai, S.: Three dimensional formulation and objectivity of a strain splace multiple mechanism model for sand. Soils Found. 33(1), 192–199 (1993). Scholar
  4. 4.
    Iai, S., Matsunaga, Y., Kameoka, T.: Strain space plasticity model for cyclic mobility. Soils Found. 32(2), 1–15 (1992). Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ichimura, T., et al.: Physics-based urban earthquake simulation enhanced by 10.7 BlnDOF 30 k time-step unstructured FE non-linear seismic wave simulation. In: SC 2014: Proceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis, pp. 15–26 (2014).
  6. 6.
    Ichimura, T., et al.: A fast scalable implicit solver for nonlinear time-evolution earthquake city problem on low-ordered unstructured finite elements with artificial intelligence and transprecision computing. In: Proceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis, SC 2018, pp. 49:1–49:11 (2018).
  7. 7.
    JMA observatory, Japan Meteorological Agency: Strong ground motion of the southern Hyogo prefecture earthquake in 1995 observed at Kobe. Accessed 3 Jan 2019
  8. 8.
    Joint Center for Advanced High Performance Computing: Basic specification of oakforest-pacs.
  9. 9.
    Kusakabe, R., Ichimura, T., Fujita, K., Hori, M., Wijerathne, L.: A finite element analysis method for simulating seismic soil liquefaction based on a large-scale 3D soil structure model. Dyn. Earthq. Eng. 123, 64–74 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Okimura, T., Takada, S., Koid, T.H.: Outline of the great Hanshin earthquake, Japan 1995. Nat. Hazards 14(1), 39–71 (1996). Scholar
  11. 11.
    Towhata, I., et al.: Liquefaction in the Kanto region during the 2011 off the pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake. Soils Found. 54(4), 859–873 (2014). Scholar
  12. 12.
    Winget, J.M., Hughes, T.J.R.: Solution algorithms for nonlinear transient heat conduction analysis employing element-by-element iterative strategies. Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Eng. 52(1–3), 711–815 (1985). Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yamaguchi, A., Mori, T., Kazama, M., Yoshida, N.: Liquefaction in Tohoku district during the 2011 off the pacific coast of Tohoku earthquake. Soils Found. 52(5), 811–829 (2012). Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryota Kusakabe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kohei Fujita
    • 1
  • Tsuyoshi Ichimura
    • 1
  • Muneo Hori
    • 2
  • Lalith Wijerathne
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and TechnologyYokosuka-shiJapan

Personalised recommendations