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Mantle Flow Modeling1. Modeling and Computational Priorities
The broad range of spatial and temporal scales manifested by solid-Earth processes calls for a variety of modeling and data assimilation techniques. Advances in inversionmethods, three-dimensional modeling, data assimilation, statistical analysis, and pattern recognition are all necessary for understanding these complex systems. High-performance computers are required for carrying out these approaches.

One of the major problems facing scientists today is that the scientific data volumes are increasing at a faster rate than computational power, challenging both the analysis and the modeling of observations. Resources must be put into improved algorithms to simplify processing and to approximate complex phenomena to allow researchers to handle the large volumes of data as well as to find the dominant physics in a given data set. Another promising approach to handling large data volumes is to use pattern recognition to focus attention and point out subtle features in the data.

Because of the complexity of the solid-Earth system, high-performance computers are required for scientific progress. Computations of the systems being studied, from the geodynamo to interacting fault systems, take weeks to years to run on even the most capable of current workstations, making supercomputers the only means of modeling the systems. It is crucial to utilize the latest computational advances to make modeling an effective tool.

2. Distributed Receiving and Processing Systems
An important aspect of data collection is to create distributed centers for processing and storing unique data sets. Developing the infrastructure to compare and use complementary data sets, such as ice topography and sea-level changes, opens the door to interdisciplinary research. It is also important to create the infrastructure to access other non-NASA datasets such as seismic and geologic data. These supporting data sets are critical for modeling and understanding the complete system. These distributed data centers are particularly important in the event of natural disasters, when not only can they support disaster management but they also enable real-time scientific experiments dependent on time-sensitive observations. Such centers will become more important as multiple data types are fused into integrated models.

Integrated Program for Solid Earth Science: Information Systems, Observational Strategies, Education, Research & Analysis, Technology Development, Supporting Frameworks  
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