Tsunami Simulation - Wave Propagation on Fully Adaptive Grids

The propagation of oceanic waves, such as Tsunamis generated by earth quakes, can be modeled by 2D fluid equations (so-called shallow water equations). To numerically solve these models, we use a discretization on adaptive triangular grids. Adaptivity, i.e. refinement of the grid in critical regions (esp. along the propagating wave front) but also coarsening in less interesting areas, is critical to achieve the desired accuracy in acceptable time.

Such adaptive grids require memory-efficient data structures to store them, but also efficient algorithms and implementations working on these data structures. Our approach is based on the 2D Sierpinski space-filling curves, which allows an inherently local (and therefore cache-efficient) algorithm based on stack and stream data structures.

Further aspects are efficient implementation of the discretized equations - including parallelization, higher order accurate discretization, modeling of boundary and initial conditions (via coupling with a code to simulate dynamic rupture processes), visualization, etc.


  • A certain interest in the simulation of physical phenomena.

Contact: Michael BaderLeonhard RannabauerPhilipp Samfass

Further InformationTsunami Simulation

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