Broadband Platform

From SCECpedia
Fig 1: Broadband Platform showing ground motion simulation methods (blue circles), and optional post-processing methods (green circles).

The SCEC Broadband Platform is a software system that can generate 0-100 Hz seismograms for historical and scenario earthquakes in California, Eastern North America, and Japan using several alternative computational methods.


The goal of the SCEC Broadband Simulation Platform is to generate broadband (0-100 Hz) ground motions for earthquakes. The SCEC Broadband Platform is a collaborative software development project involving SCEC researchers, research engineers, graduate students, and the SCEC/CME software development group. SCEC scientific groups have contributed modules to the Broadband Platform including rupture generation, low- and high-frequency seismogram synthesis, non-linear site effects, and visualization. These complex scientific codes have been integrated into a system that supports easy on-demand computation of broadband seismograms. The SCEC Broadband Platform is designed to be used by both scientific and engineering researchers with some experience interpreting ground motion simulations.

Users may calculate broadband seismograms for both historical earthquakes (validation events including Northridge and Loma Prieta) and user-defined earthquakes. The platform produces a variety of data products, including broadband seismograms, rupture visualizations, and several goodness-of-fit plots. Users can install the platform on their own machine, verify that it is installed correctly, and run their own simulations on demand without requiring knowledge of any of the code involved. Users may run a validation event, supply their own simple source description, or provide a rupture description in SRF format. Users may specify their own list of stations or use a provided list. Currently the platform supports stations and events in Southern California, the Bay Area, the Mojave Desert, Eastern United States, Eastern Canada, Central and Western Japan. Users may select among various method that include rupture generation, low-frequency synthesis, high-frequency synthesis, and incorporation of site effects, with the option of running a goodness-of-fit comparison against observed or simulated seismograms. These codes have been validated against recorded ground motions from real events.

The Broadband Platform software development is performed using modern software engineering practices, including version control, user documentation, acceptance tests, and formal releases, with the aim of accuracy, reliability, ease of installation and use.

Current Release

The current official release of Broadband Platform is v17.3.0. This is a new version of the platform that includes several new capabilities and it is available on the Broadband Platform GitHub website. It is the first major release of the Broadband Platform since version 16.5.0, released in May 2016. Details of the new features along with several bugs fixes are provided in the release notes. New Broadband Platform users should work with this version of the software. We recommend existing Broadband platform users migrate to this new version whenever possible.

Technical Support

For assistance with the Broadband Platform, you may

  • Email software @ with specific questions
  • Browse and submit new trouble tickets, or feature requests, at Broadband Issues Page.

Broadband Platform Developers and Collaborators

Broadband Publications

Supporting Presentation Materials

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We post BBP user questions and our response to a Broadband Platform Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page:

Related Wiki Entries

Older Broadband Platform Releases

Earlier version of the broadband platform software and data distributions are provided to support existing Broadband platform users. However, we recommend all users upgrade to the most recent version at first opportunity. Earlier releases can be found in the Broadband Platform Previous Releases page.


Please support the Broadband Platform project by acknowledging the use of this software. Acknowledgements and citations help us obtain additional resources for continued development of the platform. If you use the Broadband Platform software for work resulting in an academic publication, we would appreciate it if one, or more, of the following paper is cited.

The primary reference for the Broadband Platform software system is:

  1. Maechling, P. J., F. Silva, S. Callaghan, and T. H. Jordan (2015). SCEC Broadband Platform: System Architecture and Software Implementation, Seismol. Res. Lett., 86, no. 1, doi: 10.1785/0220140125.

References for specific computational methods included in the Broadband Platform and for the validation procedures developed by the Broadband Platform include:

  1. Goulet, C.A., Abrahamson, N.A., Somerville, P.G. and K, E. Wooddell (2015) The SCEC Broadband Platform Validation Exercise: Methodology for Code Validation in the Context of Seismic-Hazard Analyses, Seismol. Res. Lett., 86, no. 1, doi: 10.1785/0220140104
  2. Dreger, D. S., Beroza, G.C., Day, S. M., Goulet, C. A., Jordan, T. H., Spudich, P. A., and Stewart, J. P. (2015). Validation of the SCEC Broadband Platform V14.3 Simulation Methods Using Pseudospectral Acceleration Data, Seismol. Res. Lett., 86, no. 1, doi:10.1785/0220140118.
  3. Anderson, J. G (2015) The Composite Source Model for Broadband Simulations of Strong Ground Motions Seismological Research Letters, January/February 2015, v. 86, p. 68-74, First published on December 17, 2014, doi:10.1785/0220140098
  4. Atkinson, G. M., and Assatourians, K. (2015) Implementation and Validation of EXSIM (A Stochastic Finite‐Fault Ground‐Motion Simulation Algorithm) on the SCEC Broadband Platform Seismological Research Letters, January/February 2015, v. 86, p. 48-60, First published on December 17, 2014, doi:10.1785/0220140097
  5. Crempien, J. G. F., and Archuleta, R. J. (2015) UCSB Method for Simulation of Broadband Ground Motion from Kinematic Earthquake Sources Seismological Research Letters, January/February 2015, v. 86, p. 61-67, First published on December 17, 2014, doi:10.1785/0220140103
  6. Dreger, D. S., and Jordan, T. H. (2015) Introduction to the Focus Section on Validation of the SCEC Broadband Platform V14.3 Simulation Methods Seismological Research Letters, January/February 2015, v. 86, p. 15-16, doi:10.1785/0220140233
  7. Graves, R., and Pitarka, A. (2015) Refinements to the Graves and Pitarka (2010) Broadband Ground‐Motion Simulation Method Seismological Research Letters, January/February 2015, v. 86, p. 75-80, First published on December 17, 2014, doi:10.1785/0220140101
  8. Olsen, K. B., and Takedatsu, R. (2015) The SDSU Broadband Ground‐Motion Generation Module BBtoolbox Version 1.5 Seismological Research Letters, January/February 2015, v. 86, p. 81-88, First published on December 17, 2014, doi:10.1785/0220140102
  9. Song, S.G. (2016) Developing a generalized pseudo-dynamic source model of Mw 6.5-7.0 to simulate strong ground motions, Geophysical Journal International, 204, 1254-1265. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggv521
  10. Song, S.G., Dalguer, L.A. and Mai, P.M. (2014) Pseudo-dynamic source modeling with 1-point and 2-point statistics of earthquake source parameters, Geophysical Journal International, 196, 1770-1786. doi: 10.1093/gji/ggt479

The site response method written by RWGraves, included in the BBP, is based on this reference:

  1. Stewart J.P., D.M. Boore, E. Seyhan, and G.M. Atkinson (2016). NGA-West2 equations for predicting vertical-component PGA, PGV, and 5%-damped PSA from shallow crustal earthquakes. Earthq. Spectra, 32 (2): 1005–1031.

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