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

JSC2012Coupling 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 2.3E12 unknowns per day of simulation, in as little as 10 minutes of wall-clock time.

JC Dietrich, S Tanaka, JJ Westerink, CN Dawson, RA Luettich Jr, M Zijlema, LH Holthuijsen, JM Smith, LG Westerink, HJ Westerink (2012). “Performance of the Unstructured-Mesh, SWAN+ADCIRC Model in Computing Hurricane Waves and Surge.Journal of Scientific Computing, 52(2), 468-497, DOI:10.1007/s10915-011-9555-6.