Workshops > Modeling and Computations of Shallow-Water Coastal Flows

Modeling and Computations of Shallow-Water Coastal Flows

Calculating Storm Surge and Other Coastal Hazards Using Geoclaw

Kyle Mandli

University of Washington


Coastal flows often require the use of methods that can resolve many order of spatial and temporal scales and often these resolution requirements change in time and space. One way to resolve these scales is to take advantage of these dynamic processes and employ adaptive mesh refinement which uses various aspects of the flow to determine the current required mesh refinement. This allows for a significant savings in computation and can lead to the ability to refine further in regions of interest.

We have developed a code named GeoClaw which uses adaptive mesh refinement to solve depth averaged equations over complex bathymetry. It is based on the Clawpack software (Conservation Laws Package,, designed for solving general nonlinear hyperbolic systems using high-resolution shock-capturing finite volume methods on logically rectangular grids. We will present results from an idealized storm surge along with preliminary results involving multilayer depth averaged equations in order to include vertical structure of the surge to improve the accuracy of the model off the continental shelf.