Submitted as: development and technical paper 28 Jul 2020

Submitted as: development and technical paper | 28 Jul 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Global Storm Tide Modeling with ADCIRC v55: Unstructured Mesh Design and Performance

William J. Pringle1, Damrongsak Wirasaet1, Keith J. Roberts2, and Joannes J. Westerink1 William J. Pringle et al.
  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN, USA
  • 2School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony Brook University, NY, USA

Abstract. This paper details and tests numerical improvements to ADCIRC, a widely used finite element method shallow water equation solver, to more accurately and efficiently model global storm tides with seamless local mesh refinement in storm landfall locations. The sensitivity to global unstructured mesh design was investigated using automatically generated triangular meshes with a global minimum element size (MinEle) that ranged from 1.5 km to 6 km. We demonstrate that refining resolution based on topographic seabed gradients and employing a MinEle less than 3 km is important for the global accuracy of the simulated astronomical tide. Our recommended global mesh design (MinEle = 1.5 km) based on these results was locally refined down to two separate MinEle (500 m and 150 m) at the coastal landfall locations of two intense storms (Hurricane Katrina and Super Typhon Haiyan) to demonstrate the model's capability for coastal storm tide simulations and to test the sensitivity to local mesh refinement. Simulated maximum storm tide elevations closely follow the lower envelope of observed high water marks (HWMs) measured near the coast. In general, peak storm tide elevations along the open coast are decreased and the timing of the peak occurs later with local coastal mesh refinement. However, this mesh refinement only has a significant positive impact on HWM errors in straits and inlets narrower than the MinEle, and in bays and lakes separated from the ocean by these passages. Lastly, we demonstrate that the computational performance of the new numerical treatment is one-to-two orders of magnitude faster than studies using previous ADCIRC versions because gravity-wave based stability constraints are removed allowing for larger computational time steps.

William J. Pringle et al.

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Status: final response (author comments only)
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William J. Pringle et al.

Data sets

Global Storm Tide Modeling on Unstructured Meshes with ADCIRC v55 - Simulation Results and Model Setup William J. Pringle

Model code and software

CHLNDDEV/OceanMesh2D: OceanMesh2D V3.0.0 William J. Pringle and Keith J. Roberts

Global Storm Tide Modeling on Unstructured Meshes with ADCIRC v55 - Simulation Results and Model Setup William J. Pringle

William J. Pringle et al.


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Short summary
We improve and test a computer model that simulates tides and storm surge over all of Earth's oceans and seas. The model varies mesh resolution (triangular element sizes) freely so that coastal areas, especially storm landfall locations, are well-described. We develop systematic tests of the resolution in order to suggest good mesh design criteria that balances computational efficiency with accuracy for both global astronomical tides and coastal storm tides under extreme weather forcing.