SC17 Salt Lake City, UT

Simulation and Visual Representation of Tropical Cyclone-Ocean Interactions

Authors: David Bock (National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois), Hui Lui (University of Illinois), Ryan L. Sriver (University of Illinois)

Abstract: The winds of a tropical cyclone (TC) can induce vigorous ocean vertical mixing bringing cold water to the ocean surface and injecting warm water down into the ocean interior. The result of such interactions can alter the ocean heat budget and transport having implications for large-scale circulations within the Earth system. To better understand and analyze these implications, we computationally simulated the effect of TC winds on the ocean. We present results from ocean model simulations forced with tropical cyclone winds that are extracted from a fully coupled Earth system model simulation. Results are compared with a control simulation without TC winds. Differences between the TC-forcing run and the control run can reveal the effect of TC wind mixing on the ocean. The unique spatial and temporal relationships between the simulation results present unique challenges to effective visual representation. Using a variety of different visualization techniques, a custom software system is used to design and develop several visualization sequences to help better understand and analyze the simulation results.

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