Article

Journal of Scientific Computing

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 468-497

Performance of the Unstructured-Mesh, SWAN+ADCIRC Model in Computing Hurricane Waves and Surge

  • J. C. DietrichAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre DameInstitute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, University of Texas at Austin Email author 
  • , S. TanakaAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
  • , J. J. WesterinkAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
  • , C. N. DawsonAffiliated withInstitute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, University of Texas at Austin
  • , R. A. LuettichJr.Affiliated withInstitute of Marine Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , M. ZijlemaAffiliated withFaculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Technical University at Delft
  • , L. H. HolthuijsenAffiliated withFaculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Technical University at Delft
  • , J. M. SmithAffiliated withCoastal Hydraulics Laboratory, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • , L. G. WesterinkAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
    • , H. J. WesterinkAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

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Abstract

Coupling wave and circulation models is vital in order to define shelf, nearshore and inland hydrodynamics during a hurricane. The intricacies of the inland floodplain domain, level of required mesh resolution and physics make these complex computations very cycle-intensive. Nonetheless, fast wall-clock times are important, especially when forecasting an incoming hurricane.

We examine the performance of the unstructured-mesh, SWAN+ADCIRC wave and circulation model applied to a high-resolution, 5M-vertex, finite-element SL16 mesh of the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana. This multi-process, multi-scale modeling system has been integrated by utilizing inter-model communication that is intra-core. The modeling system is validated through hindcasts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005), Gustav and Ike (2008) and comprehensive comparisons to wave and water level measurements throughout the region. The performance is tested on a variety of platforms, via the examination of output file requirements and management, and the establishment of wall-clock times and scalability using up to 9,216 cores. Hindcasts of waves and storm surge can be computed efficiently, by solving for as many as 2.3⋅1012 unknowns per day of simulation, in as little as 10 minutes of wall-clock time.

Keywords

Hurricane waves Storm surge Unstructured meshes