Malcolm L. Spaulding Professor Emeritus, Ocean Engineering University of Rhode Island Narragansett, RI 02881

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Malcolm L. Spaulding

Professor Emeritus, Ocean Engineering University of Rhode Island

Narragansett, RI 02881

USACE Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory(CHL) Data Infrastructure Workshop

January 23, 2014


Overview of Presentation


North Atlantic Comprehensive Study (Army Eng) NERACOOS Supported Northeast Coastal Ocean

Forecasting System (NECOFS)

Vision for STORM TOOLS

Web based architecture and tools

Benefits of approach and web based tools

Experience in implementation of cloud based coastal forecasting system for Dubai

Way forward: Demonstration Project- RI coast, jointly

supported by NOAA and USACE; validation experiment at USACE Duck, NC facility


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study.

The goals of the two year, $19 m, study (2013-2015) are to (1) provide strategies to reduce risk to which vulnerable

coastal populations are subject, and

(2) promote coastal resilient communities to ensure a sustainable and robust coastal landscape system, considering future sea level rise and climate change scenarios,

(3) to reduce risk to vulnerable population, property, ecosystems, and infrastructure.


US Army Engineers county level

areas impacted by Sandy


Last mile problem

North Atlantic Comprehensive Coastal Study provides quality state of art predictions along the coast but the resolution is not sufficient for local studies

 CSTORM-MS program anticipates that this level of

analysis will be a local responsibility, funded for a specific project or activity.

 Given the sophistication of the tools and the talent

required to make use of them, the cost of analysis is likely to be significant and a barrier to use

Last Mile : Link CSTORM or similar to local studies


Development of An Inundation Forecast System for Northeast Coastal Regions

Robert C Beardsley

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543

MIT May 29, 2013

Changsheng Chen

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, New Bedford, MA 02744

Develop an “end –to-end” inundation model system for northeastern coastal regions and demonstrate its forecast capability for extra-tropical nor’easter storm and hurricane-induced coastal flooding.

Acknowledgement: NERACOOS for the development and improvement of NECOFS and the MIT Sea Grant for the development of the Massachusetts inundation system.


Northeast Coastal Ocean Forecast System (NECOFS)


Coastal FVCOM (up to 10 m)

Surface Wave Model (FVCOM-SWAVE) Local Weather Model (WRF)

North American Meso-scale (NAM) Weather Model

Satellite SST Buoy Winds Insolation

Satellite SST, SSH Buoy or Survey

T,S,U,V River discharges

Heat Flux Wind Stress P-E U,V


assimilation Regional FVCOM

(GOM-FVCOM: 0.3-15 km) Global-FVCOM

tides, currents, T and S)


U,V , Waves Langmuir Cells

Inundation Model

Storm Surge (hurricanes, Nor’easter)

Wind Stress



Weather: winds, air temperature, air humidity, air pressure, heat flux, E-P Oceans: sea level, currents, T, S, wave heights, wave frequencies, icing Lands: inundation areas

Existing Models NECOFS



To Be Developed Products



(2-50 km) GoM-FVCOM (0.3-15 km)

Mass Coastal FVCOM (10 m-5 km)

Nested Nested


Enlarged view

Scituate, MA (up to 10 m) Hampton, NH (up to 10 m)


Scituate, MA The Test Site:


Tide gauge station


MIT May 29, 2013

Maps of surface wave height (m) and direction (arrows) at Dec. 27 08 GMT


MIT May 29, 2013

No waves With waves


Mass Bay (up to 10 m) Enlarged view

Boston Harbor Inundation Domains


High resolution FVCOM grid for eastern Long Island and Block Island Sounds

(with coastal flooding)


Vision for STORM TOOLS

Develop a system that provides access to a suite of coastal planning tools (numerical models et al) available as a web service that allows wide spread accessibility and

applicability at high resolution to user selected coastal areas of interest.

Tools to predict winds, waves, and currents with and

without sea level rise. The models would link directly to the hindcast fields provided at the CSTORM web site or local systems (e.g. NECOFS).

The models and associated data bases would reside on the web server site and run remotely via the web. The system could be hosted by NOAA CSC, IOOS RA, Army Corp, et al or on the cloud.


Web Accessible Tools

 Hurricane and storm wind and pressure fields

 Integrated storm surge and wave models NOAA SLOSH

ADCIRC and SWAN (unstructured grid) FVCOM and SWAN (unstructured grid) STWAVES (near shore waves)


 Sea Level Rise Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM)

 Other emerging model systems


NOAA Digital Coast

Approach: Bring the geospatial and coastal

management communities together

Outcome: A constituent-

driven, integrated, enabling platform supporting coastal resource

management that is used


The Digital Coast in Action:

Facilitating Use and Application

DISCOVER Information

on the C- CAP land cover data

set on the Digital Coast


DOWNLOAD Land cover data for your community via

the Data Access Viewer

MAP Develop mash-ups with ESRI and OGC map services

ANALYZE Change in your county

with the Land Cover


LEARN From data

experts through recorded webinars

SHARE Outcomes with others

though Stories in the




Benefits of the approach

•Universal access, with link to CSTORM-MS or NECOFS data.

•Substantial leverage of results from the North Atlantic

Comprehensive Study to assist local resilience analysis and planning.

•Applicable to any area, at user defined resolution.

•Ability to develop study area grids at a variety of locations and differing resolutions.

•Allows non specialist to readily access model results and to perform simple simulations. Allows professional to access state of the art simulation tools that have been validated by the government and accepted in the technical community.

•Reduce the cost and time to perform sophisticated

analyses for storm surge and coastal sea level rise planning


Benefits of using the web version

Quick access from anywhere within application availability zone (VPN, etc)

Capable of adding additional users as projects grow

Robust for critical emergency response

No need for upgrades or patches on local PCs

High flexibility for data integration and service based connections

No platform compatibility issues as operating systems change. Compliant with most web browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Publish scenarios and metocean data to mobile devices to distribute results


Arabian Gulf Operational Forecasting System HPC Cloud Infrastructure Case Study

Operational Daily Forecast System

WRF (GFS initialization)

parent grid covers entire Arabian Gulf region with high resolution nest over Dubai

ROMS (initialized with previous forecast field or climatology)

parent grid covers entire Arabian Gulf region with high resolution nest over Dubai

SWAN (WW3 initialization)

unstructured grid covers entire Arabian Gulf region

Forecast out to 5 days

0Z and/or 12Z initialization

Limited infrastructure budget

large cluster not possible


Example of downscaling winds (GFS

to WRF nest)


OFS Timings (Model Server)

2010 2011 2013 2013 2014

Switch to Cloud $600/month For 2 runs/day:

00Z and 12Z


Results of Cloud Implementation

Runtime reduced from 7+ hours to less than 3 hours

Forecast data available sooner

Additional grids can be accommodated by reclaimed time

Costs reduced by reducing runtime (pay by hour of utilization)

Ability to scale by demand

All models compiled with MPI support, can spin up additional nodes for speed

Development and staging environments available

Exact operational environment can be duplicated

Only pay for runtime associated with development. Once development or debugging complete, node is terminated. No ongoing costs.

Allows for cost-effective model experimentation with configuration parameters and datasets

Continually upgrading environment

End of 2013 saw AWS(cloud) lower price (per hour) of HPC node as well as increase performance. Both price per hour and runtime dropped (from 5 hours to 3 hours).

No hardware obsolescence



 Web based strategy to support the use of state of the art tools for local coastal resilience analysis and

planning for storms and sea level rise.

 Leverage extensive, on-going work in coastal

inundation modeling (Army Corp Engineers, NOAA IOOS, FEMA, etc).

 Cloud based strategy dramatically increases access and lowers cost to employ state of the art modeling.

Provides an affordable solution to the last mile problem


Next Step: Demonstration Project

 Application to Misquamicut Beach, Westerly, RI


Management Question

 How will the area impacted by the once in hundred

year storm surge (and associated waves) be changed in next 25 yrs if sea level rise of 1 m and projected rates of coastal erosion are assumed ?

 What critical infrastructure will be impacted?

 How would various mitigation strategies impact the areas that are flooded?





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