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Use of a hybrid computer in engineering-seismology research

December 28, 2008

A hybrid computer is an important tool in the seismological research conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in support of the Energy Research and Development Administration nuclear explosion testing program at the Nevada Test Site and the U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program. The hybrid computer system, which employs both digital and analog computational techniques, facilitates efficient seismic data processing. Standard data processing operations include: (1) preview of dubbed magnetic tapes of data; (2) correction of data for instrument response; (3) derivation of displacement and acceleration time histories from velocity recordings; (4) extraction of peak-amplitude data; (5) digitization of time histories; (6) rotation of instrumental axes; (7) derivation of response spectra; and (8) derivation of relative transfer functions between recording sites. Catalog of time histories and response spectra of ground motion from nuclear explosions and earthquakes that have been processed by the hybrid computer are used in the Earthquake Hazard Research Program to evaluate the effects of source, propagation path, and site effects on recorded ground motion; to assess seismic risk; to predict system response; and to solve system design problems.