Data Services in Support of High Performance Computing-Based Distributed Hydrologic Models

Monday, 15 December 2014
David G Tarboton1, Jeffery S Horsburgh1, Pabitra K Dash1, Tseganeh Gichamo1, Ahmet A Yildirim1 and Norm Jones2, (1)Utah State University, Logan, UT, United States, (2)Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, United States
We have developed web-based data services to support the application of hydrologic models on High Performance Computing (HPC) systems. The purposes of these services are to provide hydrologic researchers, modelers, water managers, and users access to HPC resources without requiring them to become HPC experts and understanding the intrinsic complexities of the data services, so as to reduce the amount of time and effort spent in finding and organizing the data required to execute hydrologic models and data preprocessing tools on HPC systems. These services address some of the data challenges faced by hydrologic models that strive to take advantage of HPC. Needed data is often not in the form needed by such models, requiring researchers to spend time and effort on data preparation and preprocessing that inhibits or limits the application of these models. Another limitation is the difficult to use batch job control and queuing systems used by HPC systems. We have developed a REST-based gateway application programming interface (API) for authenticated access to HPC systems that abstracts away many of the details that are barriers to HPC use and enhances accessibility from desktop programming and scripting languages such as Python and R. We have used this gateway API to establish software services that support the delineation of watersheds to define a modeling domain, then extract terrain and land use information to automatically configure the inputs required for hydrologic models. These services support the Terrain Analysis Using Digital Elevation Model (TauDEM) tools for watershed delineation and generation of hydrology-based terrain information such as wetness index and stream networks. These services also support the derivation of inputs for the Utah Energy Balance snowmelt model used to address questions such as how climate, land cover and land use change may affect snowmelt inputs to runoff generation. To enhance access to the time varying climate data used to drive hydrologic models, we have developed services to downscale and re-grid nationally available climate analysis data from systems such as NLDAS and MERRA. These cases serve as examples for how this approach can be extended to other models to enhance the use of HPC for hydrologic modeling.