SC15 Austin, TX

Visualization of Ocean Currents and Eddies in a High-Resolution Ocean Model

Authors: Francesca Samsel (The University of Texas at Austin), Mark Petersen (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Terece Turton (The University of Texas at Austin), Gregory Abram (The University of Texas at Austin), James Ahrens (Los Alamos National Laboratory), David Rogers (Los Alamos National Laboratory)

Abstract: Climate change research relies on models to better understand and predict the complex, interdependent processes that affect the atmosphere, ocean, and land. These models are computationally intensive and produce terabytes to petabytes of data. Visualization and analysis is increasingly difficult, yet is critical to gain scientific insights from large simulations. The recently-developed Model for Prediction Across Scales-Ocean (MPAS-Ocean) is designed to investigate climate change at global high-resolution (5 to 10 km grid cells) on high performance computing platforms. In the accompanying video, we use state-of-the-art visualization techniques to explore the physical processes in the ocean relevant to climate change. These include heat transport, turbulence and eddies, weakening of the meridional overturning circulation, and interaction between a warming ocean and Antarctic ice shelves. The project exemplifies the benefits of tight collaboration among scientists, artists, computer scientists, and visualization specialists. Video link -

PDF: pdf
Video: video

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