High-performance computer for the GFZ

New computer node receives funding from the State of Brandenburg via the Future Investment Fund.

New computer node receives funding from the State of Brandenburg via the Future Investment Fund

The German Research Centre for Geosciences is receiving a new high-performance computer. The GPU unit will be used, among other things, for the faster and highly accurate calculation of earthquake magnitudes and locations, the quantum mechanical calculation of mineral properties or the modelling of landscapes. GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit and refers to a type of computer that is particularly well suited for image processing, modelling and machine learning thanks to the parallel processing of data. The computer node is being funded with 600,000 Euros by the state of Brandenburg through the Future Investment Fund. "We are particularly pleased that with the GPU cluster we will be able to meet the challenges that science poses to IT better and faster in the future," says Dorit Kerschke, coordinator of the GFZ Department "Data, Information and IT Services". "In particular, our group of researchers in the field of 'machine learning' and 'artificial intelligence' will benefit from this."

Niels Hovius, Scientific Director (interim) of the GFZ, adds: "In the geosciences, too, we are increasingly working on so-called digital twins, i.e. with models that map a part of the Earth system and its interactions and thus enable predictions or scenarios. The new GPU cluster will take us a big step forward in this. In the future, the computing power will also be made available to neighbouring institutes on Telegrafenberg."

Brandenburg's Minister of Science and Research Dr Manja Schüle: "Heavy rain, floods: the risk of extreme weather events is increasing. Predicting them remains difficult. In the future, artificial intelligence approaches such as deep learning will help to evaluate incoming environmental data even faster and to answer recurring questions automatically. Our Future Investment Fund finances these modern technologies and at the same time enables further climate protection measures. The GeoForschungsZentrum's intelligent computer nodes support the scientists on Telegrafenberg in predicting natural disasters. The digital infrastructure is another step on the way to future-oriented geo and climate research. The knowledge gained provides important scientific contributions for the future of Brandenburg, Germany and Europe. Here, the future is being predicted and made with artificial intelligence and state funding."

At the GFZ, a user and application group for Machine Learning (ML) has existed for several years, bringing together more than sixty scientists* from 17 sections of the GFZ. This group organises regular exchange meetings and development meetings ("hackathons"). All researchers work on questions for which ML is seen as a promising approach. The direct proximity to application for many communities has led to mature prototypes already being developed at the GFZ. This has allowed experience to be gained, concepts to be tested and the use of GPUs to be validated as useful for scientific computing.

The new technological possibilities are to be used to solve future challenges in the field of earth and environment. Possible applications in the environment of the GFZ are, for example, time-critical mass data calculations of geodata, modelling and simulation calculations for analyses and forecasts as well as real-time warning systems for natural hazards such as tsunamis, storm and rain floods or volcanic activity. Other applications include geotechnical monitoring systems for observing landslides, foundations and bridges, as well as disaster management for natural or man-made disasters. Niels Hovius: "Last but not least, the GPU cluster is also an essential computing infrastructure for attracting research funding in large-scale national and international projects."

The GPU system will be installed and operated in the newly created server room in the recently inaugurated "GeoBioLab" on the Telegrafenberg campus. In terms of sustainable IT operation, the resulting thermal power is used in the lab building itself and in another connected building for heating and water heating.

Additional News

DEUQUA Logo mit Mammut und Friedenstaube

DEUQUA 2022 Tagung am GFZ

PAW Logo

Postdoc Appreciation Week Germany

Building, photo taken in winter, Isaac Newton Institute

Simons Scholarship for Dr Monika Korte

Die Verteilung der seismischen Stationen auf einer Karte der Region.

How deeply does Eifel volcanism sleep?

Geomagnetic Field. Space with stars, Earth with animation around

GFZ film among the finalists of the Earth Futures Festival 2022

Earth's radiation belt: High-energy particles modelled around the Earth. The particles are ring-shaped

A new population of particles in the Earth’s radiation belts

[Translate to English:] Die teilnehmenden GFZ Mitarbeiter als Gruppenfoto

2nd proWissen run in Potsdam with successful participation by GFZ employees

The group on the first day of work.

New faces at the GFZ - start of the training year 2022/2023

Forest vs no forest on two sides of a road

Agriculture drives more than 90% of tropical deforestation

Group photo: people on the roof terrace of a house

2nd International Symposium of International Association of Geodesy’s Commission 4…

[Translate to English:] Foto eines Bergs mit darüber gelegter Skizze des geologischen Profils.

How thick should clay be as a host rock for a repository?

White dots of different thicknesses in a hexagonal pattern on a black ground.

Synthesis of hexagonal SiGe semiconductor using high pressure and temperature

Landslide on a slope directly adjacent to a settlement with small houses.

Landslides increasingly threaten the world's urban poor cities

Different coloured liquids mix in an aquarium. A child watches.

Catching up after Corona: "GEOtogether" brings joy for pupils in collaborative…

A woman and a man stand on a stage holding a picture with a coloured map of Türkiye..

Four decades of joint Turkish-German earthquake research

Egon Althaus sitting around a table with colleagues outside on a project

We mourn the death of Egon Althaus (1933-2022)

A dry dam near Capetown, South Africa.

The challenge of unprecedented floods and droughts in risk management

Drawing of a fictional historical submersible.

Eleven short research stays with GFZ participation funded

Drilling platform on Lake Junin with several people on it

Tropical glaciers followed the rhythm of the ice sheet expansion in the northern…

Schematic representation of the VECTOR project: A large arrow with different levels - from the earth's surface to underground.

Improving the exploration efficiency in Europe

Hoby Razafindrakoto

Project from Dr. Razafindrakoto to create a seismological lab in Madagascar wins ARISE…

3D digital Earth at night

Open-Earth-Monitor getting started

The dam of the Steinbach Dam in the Eifel region, cut by flooding but not destroyed.

Flood risk management after the Eifel flood in July 2021

Group picture of the Cermak7 Conference in front of the Museum Barberini in Potsdam

International heat flow conference and workshop in Potsdam

Castor platform in the ocean. The sea is still.

Filling geological gas reservoirs: Causal research in the most important event of induced…

People sit on chairs in a circle in a room.

GFZ PhD Days

Jeffrey Perez in front of the Logo of the meeting

Two GFZ Researchers participate in the 71st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Young woman standing with certificate in hand in a hall in front of the lettering EAGE

Best Paper Award for Evgeniia Martuganova

Four persons are holding a large golden key, standing in front of a house

Housing for visiting scientists


Favoring curiosity-driven research of the solid earth

back to top of main content