Welcome to the Web home of CITerra, a High Performance Computing cluster in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences (GPS) at Caltech. CITerra is a large network of ordinary computers that work together to solve challenging problems in the geosciences. CITerra was officially opened in November 2005
Several groups of researchers in GPS use the power of CITerra to examine natural phenomena, using numerical models of the physics underlying those phenomena. With the devotion of large cluster like CITerra to the computational geosciences at Caltech, professors, postdoctoral researchers, research staff, and students can routinely perform larger studies and gain greater scientific insight than they ever could before.
The numerical simulations performed on CITerra allow researchers to visualize phenomena that occur all the time in the natural world, but which are normally invisible to us. The scientists compare the results from these simulations to experimental measurements made in the real world, iteratively refining their models of the physical system under study and gaining a better and better understanding of it. Depending on the goals of a specific research project, CITerra users can take a step back to view dynamics of a whole planet or a planet’s atmosphere, or zoom in to study physical phenomena on a small spatial or temporal scale. In most cases, this work could not be advanced without CITerra.
The design and construction of the facility that houses CITerra was supported by Caltech and by the GPS Division at Caltech. We thank these institutions and the visionary individuals within them who understood the importance of the science that could only be pursued by building this facility.
Finally, the cost of ongoing operations of the facility is largely paid from grants to individual faculty members in GPS. We are grateful for the financial support of research in GPS by a diverse set of public and private institutions.