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Ocean environmental modelling

Industrial pollutant spills and accidents at sea require immediate decisions to minimize detrimental effects. TRIMODENA uses parallel processing to provide environmental assessors with the detailed models needed to simulate the effects of winds and tides on currents and the dispersion of particles in the sea. Predictions of hazardous consequences can be made quickly, allowing resources to control the problem to be allocated in the most efficient way. TRIMODENA's flexibility also makes it suited to longer term studies on environmental impacts and fish farming. It can be used on different platforms, ranging from personal computer (PC) to supercomputer, depending on the size of the project concerned.

The key to the power of the TRIMODENA system is the parallelisation of quasi-tridimensional finite element codes used to analyse this type of problem. These codes perform many calculations to simulate patterns and dispersion processes in a complex marine environment with irregular boundaries. The quasi-3-dimensional approach uses an interpolation technique that allows 3-dimensional solutions to be found with less computational effort than with conventional pure 3-dimensional models. The application comprises three codes. ECADIS models the residual currents induced by the wind and boundary conditions corresponding to the general currents of the area and the measured data. MAREAS computes the elevation and currents generated by tidal waves, while RECODE simulates pollutant dispersion processes by computing the distribution at fixed time increments. Simple models can be run on local PCs while supercomputers, available via the Internet, are used for larger problems.

Reported by

AZTI Instituto Tecnologico Pesquero y Alimentario
Satrustegui 8
San Sebastian
Spain
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