The deepest hole ever dug by humans reached just over seven and a half miles into the planet — less than 1/1000th of the Earth’s nearly 8,000-mile diameter. Understanding the composition of our planet is, therefore, a challenging proposition that predominantly relies on the extrapolation of proxy metrics. Prominent among these metrics are seismic waves, which can be used to conduct “seismic tomography” on the planet, much like how a CT or MRI scan infers the structure of a living organism. As highlighted in a recent article from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), this field has experienced rapid advances in recent years thanks to the leveraging of supercomputing power.
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