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Of the many fields of science in which increased numerical simulations and information technology have accelerated recent developments, perhaps none holds more promise than computational earth system science, a field of research within the new science of GeoComplexity.In the past, researchers observed physical and chemical processes to clarify the physics of such natural systems as earthquake faults, the convective engine driving tectonic plates, the evolution of the earth's surface, and the geodynamo deep within the earth's outer core. For example, they devised a variety of observational systems to measure the surface deformation due to earthquakes, to track changes in the earth's magnetic and gravitational fields, to determine hillslope stability, and to quantify the myriad effects of forest fires. They then constructed models to explain the observations and to formulate new hypotheses.

J. B. Rundle, "Guest Editor's Introduction: Computational Earth System Science," in Computing in Science & Engineering, vol. 2, no. , pp. 20-21, 2000.
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