In 2005, a semi truck hauling 35,000 pounds of explosives through the Spanish Fork Canyon in Utah crashed and caught fire, causing a dramatic explosion that left a 30- by-70-foot crater in the highway.

Fortunately, there were no fatalities. With about three minutes between the crash and the explosion, the driver and other motorists had time to flee. Some injuries did occur, however, as the explosion sent debris flying in all directions and produced a shock wave that blew out nearby car windows.

Such accidents are extremely rare but can obviously have devastating results. So understanding better exactly how such explosions occur can be an important step to learning how better to prevent them.

University of Utah Computer Science Professor Martin Berzins and his research team are using supercomputing resources at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility in Illinois to simulate the 2005 explosion to determine the nature of the blast.

Read this full article on the Argonne National Laboratory website