Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
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Section: New Results

Mathematical Modelling of the Ocean Dynamics

Numerical Schemes for Ocean Modelling

Participants : Eric Blayo, Laurent Debreu, Jérémie Demange, Florian Lemarié.

In his PhD, Jérémie Demange has worked on advection-diffusion schemes for ocean models (Supervisors : L. Debreu, P. Marchesiello (IRD)). His work focuses on the link between tracers (temperature and salinity) and momentum advection and diffusion in the non hyperbolic system of equations typically used in ocean models (the so called primitive equations with hydrostatic and Boussinesq assumptions). We also investigated the use of a depth dependent barotropic mode in free surface ocean models. When most ocean models assume that this mode is vertically constant, we have shown that the use of the true barotropic mode, derived from a normal mode decomposition, allows more stability and accuracy in the representation of external gravity waves ([55] ). A special focus has also been put on the numerical representation of internal gravity waves (IGW). The normal mode decomposition also allows the computation of IGW characteristic variables and speeds and thus enables the derivation of monotonic advection schemes ([54] ).

In 2014, we worked on the stability constraints for oceanic numerical models ([56] ). The idea is to carry a deep analysis of these constraints in order to propose new time stepping algorithms for ocean models. Except for vertical diffusion (and possibly the external mode and bottom drag), oceanic models usually rely on explicit time-stepping algorithms subject to Courant-Friedrichs-Lewy (CFL) stability criteria. Implicit methods could be unconditionally stable, but an algebraic system must be solved at each time step and other considerations such as accuracy and efficiency are less straightforward to achieve. Depending on the target application, the process limiting the maximum allowed time-step is generally different. In this paper, we introduce offline diagnostics to predict stability limits associated with internal gravity waves, advection, diffusion, and rotation. This suite of diagnostics is applied to a set of global, regional and coastal numerical simulations with several horizontal/vertical resolutions and different numerical models. We show that, for resolutions finer that 1/2, models with an Eulerian vertical coordinate are generally constrained by vertical advection in a few hot spots and that numerics must be extremely robust to changes in Courant number. Based on those results, we review the stability and accuracy of existing numerical kernels in vogue in primitive equations oceanic models with a focus on advective processes and the dynamics of internal waves. We emphasize the additional value of studying the numerical kernel of oceanic models in the light of coupled space-time approaches instead of studying the time schemes independently from spatial discretizations. From this study, we suggest some guidelines for the development of temporal schemes in future generation multi-purpose oceanic models.

Coupling Methods for Oceanic and Atmospheric Models

Participants : Eric Blayo, Mehdi-Pierre Daou, Laurent Debreu, Florian Lemarié, Antoine Rousseau.

Coupling dimensionally heterogeneous models

The coupling of different types of models is gaining more and more attention recently. This is due, in particular, to the needs of more global models encompassing different disciplines (e.g. multi-physics) and different approaches (e.g. multi-scale, nesting). Also, the possibility to assemble different modeling units inside a friendly modelling software platform is an attractive solution compared to developing more and more complex global models. More specifically one may want to couple 1D to 2D or 3D models, such as Shallow Water and Navier Stokes models: this was the framework of our partnership with EDF, now extended with ARTELIA Group.

Following the work done by Manel Tayachi in her PhD, Medhi Pierre Daou has started implementing and analyzing a coupling between 1D shallow water equations and 3D Navier Stokes equations. In the context of our partnership with ARTELIA, he uses industrial codes (Mascaret, Telemac and OpenFoam). A first implementation has been realized in an academic testcase, and a second one is presently under implementation in a much more realistic context, in the framework of the European project CRISMA.

Ocean-atmosphere coupling

Coupling methods routinely used in regional and global climate models do not provide the exact solution to the ocean-atmosphere problem, but an approached one [57] . For the last few years we have been actively working on the analysis of Schwarz waveform relaxation to apply this type of iterative coupling method to air-sea coupling [95] , [96] , [94] . In the context of the simulation of tropical cyclone, sensitivity tests to the coupling method have been carried out in an ensemblist approach. We showed that with a mathematically consistent coupling, compared to coupling methods en vogue in existing coupled models, the spread of the ensemble is reduced, thus indicating a much reduced uncertainty in the physical solution. In 2014, this work has been the subject of several invited conferences [23] , [24] , [25] , [26] and collaborations with geophysicists [41] , [47] , [48] .

Past year has also been dedicated to the establishment of strong collaborations between the applied mathematics and the climate community to assess the impact of our work on IPCC-like climate models and to go further in the theoretical work by including the formulation of physical parameterizations. As a results, a PhD-thesis (C. Pelletier) funded by Inria has started in fall 2014 in collaboration with the LSCE (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement). Moreover a PPR (Projet à partenariat renforcé) called SIMBAD (SIMplified Boundary Atmospheric layer moDel for ocean modeling purposes) is funded by Mercator-Ocean for the next three years. The aim of this project in collaboration with Meteo-France, Ifremer, LMD, and LOCEAN is to derive a metamodel to force high-resolution oceanic operational models for which the use of a full atmospheric model is not possible due to a prohibitive computational cost.