Development of Terrestrial Dynamical Cores for the ACME to Simulate Water Cycle

Developing a predictive understanding of the terrestrial water cycle at local to global scale is essential for accurate assessment of water resources, agricultural production, and energy generation given current climate variability. Higher spatial resolution in the land and river components of the Accelerated Climate Modeling for Energy (ACME) project alone is insufficient to meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) 10-year vision for the Earth System Modeling program. Next generation hyperresolution terrestrial models need to move beyond one-dimensional systems by including scale appropriate two- and three-dimensional physics formulations. The need for high-fidelity terrestrial models has been identified in past DOE’s workshops on water-energy nexus, U.S. energy sector vulnerabilities to climate change and extreme weather, and terrestrial–aquatic interface. This project is aimed at developing rigorously verified, spatially adaptive, scalable, multi-physics dynamical cores for global-scale modeling of three-dimensional processes in the land and two-dimensional processes in the river component of ACME. The dynamical cores will use the Portable, Extensible Toolkit for Scientific Computation library to provide numerical solution of discretized equations. Phase-1 of the project will focus on developing standalone versions of the dynamical cores. A validation and verification framework will be developed to build trustworthiness of the high-fidelity, high-resolution dynamical cores. An automated testing framework will be implemented to increase reliability and productivity in the model development process. By the end of Phase-1, the newly developed dynamical cores will be applied to a wide range of problems including lateral water and energy transport in high- latitude systems, transport of water and energy in the soil-plant continuum, urban flooding, and surface water dynamics at regional scales. Phase-2 of the project will focus on integration of the dynamical cores within ACME and application of the new model to study changes in terrestrial water cycle at global scales. These enhanced modeling capabilities will improve ACME’s capability to understand how the hydrological cycle evolves and impacts a wide range of water resource issues, which are critical to DOE’s missions.

Project Term: 
2018 to 2020
Project Type: 
Laboratory Funded Research

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