Hydro-UQ: A high-fidelity computational modeling tool to study coastal flooding phenomenon

Crescent city, California
Submitted by:
Ajay B Harish
NHERI SimCenter and University of California Berkeley
Project URLs:

Project Description

The Hydro-UQ software tool is a component of the research simulation tools and workflows developed by the National Science Foundation Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NSF NHERI) SimCenter. It aims to predict the response of coastal communities prone to water-borne natural hazard events. The tool provides an open-source and inter-changeable modular framework for modeling of coastal hazard events.

Today, researchers in the areas of tsunami and storm-surge event modeling rely on shallow-water solvers. While shallow-water solvers are extremely fast, they do not allow accurate determination of the response of costal structures to wave loading. Alternatively, high-fidelity, three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are computationally prohibitive for the simulation of communities beyond a few structures/buildings. Hydro-UQ (alpha) brings about a coupled modular workflow that interfaces two-dimensional shallow water solvers with three-dimensional CFD solvers. The tool allows users to import existing two-dimensional shallow-water solutions and resolve areas of interest using three-dimensional CFD. At present, the tool supports input of data from the GeoClaw shallow-water solver, support for ADCIRC is planned in the next release. Owing to the modular nature of the workflow, it can also easily interface with other solvers. Another unique feature of the tool is its ability to model wave flume experiments. Many tsunami and storm-surge tests are conducted in wave flumes (such as the Oregon State University (OSU) O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory). Hydro-UQ contains a digital twin of the OSU Large Wave Flume which researchers can use to design or replicate experiments. The upcoming release will also include probabilistic simulation capabilities using the SimCenter’s Uncertainty Quantification engine. The Hydro-UQ tool launches its computations on the Stampede2 supercomputer located at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) and is open to all users of the NSF NHERI Design-Safe system.

Key Successes

This is a project in-progress. The initial success of the project has been to develop a cloud-based comprehensive tool that couples two-dimensional shallow-water (GeoClaw) and three-dimensional CFD (OpenFOAM) solvers for high-fidelity modeling of coastal flooding scenarios. At present, we are exploring various scenarios and open to collaborations.


Scalability of physics based modeling and inter-operability with other approaches; Handling of large datasets; Intensive computations and computational times
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