ACES is a multi-lateral grand challenge science research cooperation of APEC (the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation). The project is sponsored by Australia, China, Japan and USA and involves leading international earthquake simulation and prediction research groups.
ACES aims to develop realistic supercomputer simulation models for the complete earthquake generation process, thus providing a "virtual laboratory" to probe earthquake behavior. This capability will provide a powerful means to study the earthquake cycle, and hence, offers a new opportunity to gain an understanding of the earthquake nucleation process and precursory phenomena.
The project represents a grand scientific challenge because of the complexity of phenomena and range of scales from microscopic to global involved in the earthquake generation process. It is a coordinated international effort linking complementary nationally based programs, centres and research teams.
In 2003, it was agreed to work towards establishment of a frontier international research institute on simulating the solid earth named the international Solid Earth Virtual Research Observatory institute (iSERVO).