Geoffrey Ely


I work on earthquakes problems and build software for


2008: Doctor of Philosophy
Earth Sciences, University of California San Diego.

2001: Master of Science
Geological Sciences, San Diego State University.

1996: Bachelor of Science
Geophysics, University of California Santa Barbara.


2017: Computational Seismologist

2011-2014: Postdoctoral Appointee
Leadership Computing Facility, Argonne National Laboratory.

2008-2011: Postdoctoral Research Associate
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California.

2000-2007: Graduate Research Assistant
Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California San Diego.

1997-2000: Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Geology, San Diego State University.

Software Projects

Support Operator Rupture Dynamics
A generalized finite-difference code for simulating spontaneous rupture within a 3D isotropic viscoelastic solid, with demonstrated scalability at 64,000 processes.

Computational Seismology Tools
A toolkit and Python library for large-scale earthquake simulation featuring: mesh generation; coordinate projection; material model extraction; visualization; and SORD Python wrappers.


Things I like: hiking, cycling, lacrosse, basketball, soccer, mountains, rivers, beaches, parks, stormy weather, maps, trains, walkable neighborhoods, cooking, and dinner parties. Please enjoy some of my favorite photos at


Small, P., D. Gill, P. Maechling, R. Toborda, S. Callaghan, T. Jordan, K. Olsen, G. Ely, and C. Goulet. 2017. “The SCEC Unified Community Velocity Model Software Framework.” Seism. Res. Lett. Early Publication. doi:10.1785/0220170082. ⇩PDF

Ely, G., P. Small, T. Jordan, P. Maechling, and F. Wang. 2016. “A VS30-Derived Near-Surface Seismic Velocity Model.” In Preperation.

Rollins, C., G. Ely, and T. Jordan. 2015. “Coulomb Stress Changes Imparted by Simulated M>7 Earthquakes to Major Fault Surfaces in Southern California.” In Preperation.

Shaw, J., A. Plesch, C. Tape, M. Suess, T. Jordan, G. Ely, E. Hauksson, et al. 2015. “Unified Structural Representation of the Southern California Crust and Upper Mantle.” Earth Planet. Sc. Lett. 415 (0): 1–15. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.01.016. ⇩PDF

Ely, G., S. Day, and J.-B. Minster. 2010. “Dynamic Rupture Models for the Southern San Andreas Fault.” Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 100 (1): 131–50. doi:10.1785/0120090187. ⇩PDF

Cui, Y., K. Olsen, T. Jordan, K. Lee, J. Zhou, P. Small, D. Roten, et al. 2010. “Scalable Earthquake Simulation on Petascale Supercomputers.” In IEEE International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC). doi:10.1109/SC.2010.45. ⇩PDF

Ely, G., S. Day, and J.-B. Minster. 2009. “A Support-Operator Method for 3D Rupture Dynamics.” Geophys. J. Int. 177 (3): 1140–50. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04117.x. ⇩PDF

Olsen, K., and G. Ely. 2009. “WebSims: A Web-Based System for Storage, Visualization, and Dissemination of Earthquake Ground Motion Simulations.” Seism. Res. Lett. 80 (6): 1002–7. doi:10.1785/gssrl.80.6.1002. ⇩PDF

Harris, R., M. Barall, R. Archuleta, E. Dunham, B. Aagaard, J. Ampuero, H. Bhat, et al. 2009. “The SCEC/USGS Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Code Verification Exercise.” Seism. Res. Lett. 80 (1): 119–26. doi:10.1785/gssrl.80.1.119. ⇩PDF

Bielak, J., R. Graves, K. Olsen, R. Toborda, L. Ramírez-Guzmán, S. Day, G. Ely, et al. 2009. “The ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario: Verification of Three Simulation Sets.” Geophys. J. Int. 180 (1): 375–404. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2009.04417.x. ⇩PDF

Ely, G., S. Day, and J.-B. Minster. 2008. “A Support-Operator Method for Visco-Elastic Wave Modeling in 3D Heterogeneous Media.” Geophys. J. Int. 172 (1): 331–44. doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03633.x. ⇩PDF

Ely, G. 2008. “A Method for Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Simulation with Applications to a Large Southern San Andreas Scenario.” PhD thesis, University of California, San Diego. ⇩PDF

Day, S., and G. Ely. 2002. “Effect of a Shallow Weak Zone on Fault Rupture: Numerical Simulation of Scale-Model Experiments.” Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 92 (8): 3022–41. doi:10.1785/0120010273. ⇩PDF

Ely, G. 2001. “Simulating the Effect of a Shallow Weak Zone on Near-Source Ground Motion.” Master’s thesis, San Diego State University.

Archuleta, R., C. Nicholson, J. Steidl, L. Gurrola, C. Alex, E. Cochran, G. Ely, and T. Tyler. 1997. “Initial Source and Site Characterization Studies for the U.C. Santa Barbara Campus.” Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Report UCRL-ID-129196. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. ⇩PDF

Selected Presentations

Ely, G. 2013. “The SORD Code for Rupture Dynamics.” presented at the SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering, Boston, MA.

Ely, G., T. Jordan, P. Maechling, K. Olsen, S. Day, J.-B. Minster, R. Graves, et al. 2010. “The Big Ten Earthquake Scenarios for Southern California.” presented at the SSA annual meeting, Portland, OR. ⇩PDF

Ely, G. 2008. Visualization of the ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario Simulation by R. Graves. ⇩QuickTime

Perry, S., D. Cox, L. Jones, R. Bernknopf, J. Goltz, K. Hudnut, D. Mileti, et al. 2008. “The ShakeOut Earthquake Scenario; a Story That Southern Californians Are Writing.” U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1324 and California Geological Survey Special Report 207. Cover image by G. Ely. ⇩PDF

Ely, G. 2008. “Large-Scale Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Simulations for Southern California.” In 7th U.S. / Japan Natural Resources (UJNR) Panel on Earthquake Research; Abstract Volume and Technical Program, edited by S. Detweiler and W. Ellsworth. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1335.

Ely, G., S. Day, and J.-B. Minster. 2008. “A Support-Operator Method for Dynamic Earthquake Rupture Simulation.” presented at the 6th ACES International Workshop, Cairns, AUS.

Ely, G., and K. Olsen. 2008. “WebSims: A Python-Based Web Application for Storing, Exploring and Disseminating 4D Earthquake Simulation Data.” presented at the SCEC Annual Meeting, Palm Springs, CA. ⇩PDF

Ely, G., S. Day, and J.-B. Minster. 2007. “Verification of SORD, and Application to the TeraShake Scenario.” presented at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA. Awarded Outstanding Student Paper, Earth and Space Science Informatics Focus Group. ⇩PDF

Ely, G. 2007. “Large Scale Dynamic Earthquake Simulations.” presented at the San Diego Supercomputer Center Summer Institute “Reducing Your Time To Solution”, La Jolla, CA.

Tooby, P. 2004. “TeraShake: Simulating the ‘Big One’ on the San Andreas Fault.” San Diego Supercomputer Center Envision Magazine, Special Issue for SC2004. Cover image by G. Ely. ⇩PDF

Ely, G., Q. Xin, M. Faerman, S. Day, J.-B. Minster, G. Kremenek, and R. Moore. 2003. “Earthquake Source Simulations: A Coupled Numerical Method and Large Scale Simulations.” presented at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA. ⇩PDF

Ely, G., S. Day, J.-B. Minster, C. Bradley, and K. Olsen. 2001. “Dynamic Modeling of Earthquake Sources.” presented at the IGPP 20th Anniversary Symposium, Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM. ⇩PDF