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Performance and validation of a coupled parallel ADCIRC–SWAN model for THANE cyclone in the Bay of Bengal


An accurate prediction of near-shore sea-state is imperative during extreme events such as cyclones required in an operational centre. The mutual interaction between physical processes such as tides, waves and currents determine the physical environment for any coastal region, and hence the need of a parallelized coupled wave and hydrodynamic model. The present study is an application of various state-of-art models such as WRF, WAM, SWAN and ADCIRC used to couple and simulate a severe cyclonic storm Thane that developed in the Bay of Bengal during December 2011. The coupled model (ADCIRC–SWAN) was run in a parallel mode on a flexible unstructured mesh. Thane had its landfall on 30 December, 2011 between Cuddalore and Pondicherry where in-situ observations were available to validate model performance. Comprehensive experiment on the impact of meteorological forcing parameters with two forecasted tracks derived from WRF model, and JTWC best track on the overall performance of coupled model was assessed. Further an extensive validation experiment was performed for significant wave heights and surface currents during Thane event. The significant wave heights measured along satellite tracks by three satellites viz; ENVISAT, JASON-1 and JASON-2, as well in-situ near-shore buoy observation off Pondicherry was used for comparison with model results. In addition, qualitative validation was performed for model computed currents with HF Radar Observation off Cuddalore during Thane event. The importance of WRF atmospheric model during cyclones and its robustness in the coupled model performance is highlighted. This study signifies the importance of coupled parallel ADCIRC–SWAN model for operational needs during extreme events in the North Indian Ocean.

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The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude, and acknowledge the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), Hyderabad under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India for providing the Wave Rider buoy data and HF Radar Observations. The Doppler Weather Radar images are provided by India Meteorological Department, Chennai. Authors also sincerely thank all the anonymous reviewers for their constructive critical comments to improve the overall quality of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Prasad K. Bhaskaran.

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Bhaskaran, P.K., Nayak, S., Bonthu, S.R. et al. Performance and validation of a coupled parallel ADCIRC–SWAN model for THANE cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. Environ Fluid Mech 13, 601–623 (2013).

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  • Coupled model
  • SWAN
  • WRF
  • Thane
  • Significant wave height