National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2008

Curvilinear version of the MOST model with application to the coast-wide tsunami forecast

Burwell, D., and E. Tolkova

NOAA Tech. Memo. OAR PMEL-142, 28 pp (2008)

The tsunami forecasting system being developed at the NOAA Center for Tsunami Research (NCTR) employs the Method Of Splitting Tsunami (MOST) numerical model in order both to compute ocean-wide tsunami propagation scenarios and to zoom in on a tsunami wave within a limited near-shore area. The present two-part publication describes a particular set-up of the model used for coast-wide tsunami wave height estimation, the Regional Forecast. The publication also describes a version of the MOST model that allows data fields to be sampled on arbitrary orthogonal curvilinear grids. With the curvilinear version of the model, the Regional Forecast can be used with shoreline-following grids, which is more efficient computationally and can result in a more accurate estimate. Part I presents the ideas behind the Regional Forecast and its verification with higher-resolution models. Part II introduces a curvilinear version of the MOST model. Particular attention is given to
  • developing the governing equations in an arbitrary orthogonal curvilinear coordinate system;
  • the course of the MOST code development, of which the present work is a part;
  • the modifications in the code due to grids' curvilinearity;
  • the technique of developing the shoreline-oriented grids;
  • the features of the next version of the Regional Forecast.

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