SHeAr Waves (SHAW) Simulator

This project contributes an open-source C++ code using the Kokkos programming model to simulate the generation and propagation of elastic shear waves in an axi-symmetric domain.


Sample countour plot of a velocity field obtained using the SHAW code.


Seismic modeling and simulation is an active field of research because of its critical importance to understand the generation, propagation and effects of seismic events (aka earthquakes on Earth, moonquakes on the moon, etc), and artificial explosions.

Broadly, one can distinguish between two main types of seismic waves: shear and pressure. Shear waves are also called S-waves (or secondary) because they come after P-waves (or primary). The main difference is that S-waves are transversal (particles oscillate perpendicularly to the direction of wave propagation), while P-waves are longitudinal (particles oscillate in the same direction as the wave). Both P- and S-waves are body waves, because they travel through the interior of the Earth (or some other planet), and their evolution is affected by the generating source as well as the material properties of the medium, namely density, stiffness, composition, etc.

Modeling and simulating these systems is challenging because (a) physical models contain a large number of parameters (e.g., anisotropic material properties, signal forms and parametrizations); and (b) simulating at global scale with high-accuracy requires a large computational cost.

We hope our code can help advance this field and foster new research and related work.

Highlights and features

How to cite

If you use this code, please cite the github page and the following paper:

  title = {A compute-bound formulation of Galerkin model reduction for linear time-invariant dynamical systems},
  journal = {Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering},
  volume = {384},
  pages = {113973},
  year = {2021},
  issn = {0045-7825},
  doi = {},
  url = {},
  author = {Francesco Rizzi and Eric J. Parish and Patrick J. Blonigan and John Tencer}