Computing Facilities

Center for Computational Geophysics
The Department of Earth Science has an extensive computing facility established with funds from the W.M Keck Foundation, and subsequently funded by the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, Sun Microsystems, and the petroleum industry. The Center for Computational Geophysics is part of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology (K2I, see K2I supports high-performance computing and research in computational science and engineering. As part of K2I, the Center provides access to several large cluster computers with different architectures, including a 336 Dual-Core Cray XD1 Cluster, the Shared University Grid At Rice Cluster, a 160 node (1280 processor), 12 Tflop machine, and a new Intel Nahalem computing cluster, consisting of 90 Appro Greenblade E5530 compute nodes, wich with 12 GB of memory shared by all cores on the node.

Within the Earth Science Department we operate two large SMP computers (an 8 processor/32 Gbyte memory Sun V880, and a 24 CPU/48 Gbyte memory Sun E6800) for high-performance computing and two small but expanding high-performance AMD Opteron clusters. The computing network also has three Sun ES450 servers, 65 Sun Sparc, Ultrasparc Linux, Mac and Windows workstations. Landmark™ seismic software packages are used for seismic reflection data processing; the Landmark™ Suite is used for seismic interpretation. We also have several licenses for the EarthVision™ 3D visualization software.

The department has several computer labs equipped with Sun, Mac and Windows workstations. All workstations have access to the Landmark™ software as well as more than 200 other packages, including mapping, seismic, and math software. Seismic stratigraphic and seismic interpretation workstations also are available. We operate a large number and variety of small format printers, a 24-inch black-and-white plotter for seismic data, and two 54-inch color plotters; the latter are used by a large part of the Rice community.

The Keith-Wiess Geological Laboratories have fiber optics Ethernet connecting the main computing network to a large network of Macintosh and PC computers.  Most graduate students have either a SUN, PC, or Mac on their desks.  We have image-processing and graphics manipulation software and hardware for preparing presentations.