Real-time Tsunami Inundation Prediction Using High Performance Computers

Monday, 15 December 2014
Yusuke Oishi1, Fumihiko Imamura2 and Daisuke Sugawara2, (1)Fujitsu Laboratories LTD., Kawasaki, Japan, (2)Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Recently off-shore tsunami observation stations based on cabled ocean bottom pressure gauges are actively being deployed especially in Japan. These cabled systems are designed to provide real-time tsunami data before tsunamis reach coastlines for disaster mitigation purposes. To receive real benefits of these observations, real-time analysis techniques to make an effective use of these data are necessary. A representative study was made by Tsushima et al. (2009) that proposed a method to provide instant tsunami source prediction based on achieving tsunami waveform data. As time passes, the prediction is improved by using updated waveform data. After a tsunami source is predicted, tsunami waveforms are synthesized from pre-computed tsunami Green functions of linear long wave equations. Tsushima et al. (2014) updated the method by combining the tsunami waveform inversion with an instant inversion of coseismic crustal deformation and improved the prediction accuracy and speed in the early stages.   For disaster mitigation purposes, real-time predictions of tsunami inundation are also important. In this study, we discuss the possibility of real-time tsunami inundation predictions, which require faster-than-real-time tsunami inundation simulation in addition to instant tsunami source analysis. Although the computational amount is large to solve non-linear shallow water equations for inundation predictions, it has become executable through the recent developments of high performance computing technologies. We conducted parallel computations of tsunami inundation and achieved 6.0 TFLOPS by using 19,000 CPU cores. We employed a leap-frog finite difference method with nested staggered grids of which resolution range from 405 m to 5 m. The resolution ratio of each nested domain was 1/3. Total number of grid points were 13 million, and the time step was 0.1 seconds. Tsunami sources of 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake were tested. The inundation prediction up to 2 hours after the earthquake occurs took about 2 minutes, which would be sufficient for a practical tsunami inundation predictions. In the presentation, the computational performance of our faster-than-real-time tsunami inundation model will be shown, and preferable tsunami wave source analysis for an accurate inundation prediction will also be discussed.