US Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer Research and Development Center

Coastal Model Test Bed (CMTB)

Numerical Model Testing and Evaluation at the FRF

Published May 11, 2016
ERDC-CHL's CMTB helps to evaluate numerical models that are used throughout USACE. This figure presents a Regional (parent) simulation grid, with colors corresponding to depth.  The FRF cross-shore array of wave gauges is shown with black dots while the small box is the Local (nested) simulation grid.

ERDC-CHL's CMTB helps to evaluate numerical models that are used throughout USACE. This figure presents a Regional (parent) simulation grid, with colors corresponding to depth. The FRF cross-shore array of wave gauges is shown with black dots while the small box is the Local (nested) simulation grid.

The Coastal Model Test Bed (CMTB) has been developed by ERDC-CHL to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of numerical models and to focus efforts on improving estimates. A simulation was run for CHL’s Field Research Facility (FRF) in Duck, NC, for the duration of February 2016. The series comparison shows or the month of February that the model performed relatively well in 3 m of water.

The Coastal Model Test Bed (CMTB) has been developed by ERDC-CHL to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of numerical models and to focus efforts on improving estimates. A simulation was run for CHL’s Field Research Facility (FRF) in Duck, NC, for the duration of February 2016. The series comparison shows or the month of February that the model performed relatively well in 3 m of water.

The Coastal Model Test Bed (CMTB) has been developed by ERDC-CHL to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of numerical models and to focus efforts on improving estimates. A simulation was run for CHL’s Field Research Facility (FRF) in Duck, NC, for the duration of February 2016. The results for the 3 m model-observation stations are shown in a one-to-one comparison plot.

The Coastal Model Test Bed (CMTB) has been developed by ERDC-CHL to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of numerical models and to focus efforts on improving estimates. A simulation was run for CHL’s Field Research Facility (FRF) in Duck, NC, for the duration of February 2016. The results for the 3 m model-observation stations are shown in a one-to-one comparison plot.

Numerical models developed at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) are used by engineers, scientists, and coastal planners in Corps Districts, ERDC, and public and private agencies to simulate complex scenarios at a reasonable cost.   The Coastal Model Test Bed (CMTB) has been developed to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these numerical models and to focus efforts on improving estimates.   The CHL’s Field Research Facility (FRF) in Duck, NC, is a coastal processes observation facility focused on high spatial and temporal resolution measurements to solve complex nearshore research questions.  The CMTB positions the FRF to be the center of expertise for model evaluation because of the historic data (30+ years) as well as the operational real-time measurements.   The use of this extensive coastal measurement database in a modeling framework will promote rapid enhancement of model capability.   Similarly, by running simultaneous simulations with real-time data, a better understanding of modeling best practices can be obtained. 

Problem

  • The high resolution data collection ongoing at the FRF presents the unique opportunity to evaluate coastal models using real-time conditions. By running these models in near real-time with the most recently collected data available, the models can be evaluated more frequently and for longer durations.  The longer durations allow for errors to be fully quantified, reducing uncertainties in model application.
  • In numerical modeling, there are various parameters that can be adjusted to allow model output to fit observational data.  Oftentimes these parameters are based on physical parameter assumptions that are difficult to monitor.  Efforts will be made to measure these parameters accurately and apply relationships to these models. 
  • Studies will be undertaken to better understand how the refined model parameterization can be best applied, allowing for best practices to be established.  Sensitivity studies will be undertaken to evaluate how numerical model output responds to a range of input conditions. 

Technology

  • Model Integration to an established observational environment with high-resolution measurements and real-time numerical model capability.
  • Models run on local High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster dedicated to the CMTB.
  • CMTB is developed on open source software allowing for modular and flexible development without the added cost of licenses.

Benefit

Continual operation of the CMTB allows for near real-time modeling of various parameters over longer durations and helps

  • Quantify the error associated with different models, to allow for less uncertainty in application
  • Create best use practices when employing these numerical models
  • Understand sensitivity of models to different tunable parameters and how to remove uncertainty in application.

Status

The CMTB is currently under development and has the STeady state nearshore WAVE (STWAVE), model running in both half- and full-plane modes.  A study is currently underway evaluating the effects of bathymetry inversions on wave modeling.  There are plans to incorporate a user interface to tie together the model and the user, allowing for easy spin-off studies.  The next planned model incorporation is Cross-Shore numerical model, CShore (1D) and C2Shore (2D), morphologic models.  Once evaluations have been completed, data and model evaluations and output will be available to the public via the FRF website and the newly designed Data Integration Framework (FDIF).

 

ERDC Point of Contact

Contact: Spicer Bak, PhD
Email: Spicer.Bak@usace.army.mil
Phone: 252-261-6840 x 230