Coupled Weather and Wildfire Behavior Modeling at Los Alamos: An Overview

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Over the past two years, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have been engaged in coupled weather/wildfire modeling as part of a broader initiative to predict the unfolding of crisis events. Wildfire prediction was chosen for the following reasons: (1) few physics-based wild-fire prediction models presently exist; (2) LANL has expertise in the fields required to develop such a capability; and (3) the development of this predictive capability would be enhanced by LANL`s strength in high performance computing. Wildfire behavior models have historically been used to predict fire spread and heat release for a prescribed set of fuel, slope, ... continued below

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8 p.

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Bossert, James E.; Harlow, Francis H.; Linn, Rodman R.; Reisner, Jon M.; White, Andrew B. & Winterkamp, Judith L. December 31, 1997.

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Over the past two years, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have been engaged in coupled weather/wildfire modeling as part of a broader initiative to predict the unfolding of crisis events. Wildfire prediction was chosen for the following reasons: (1) few physics-based wild-fire prediction models presently exist; (2) LANL has expertise in the fields required to develop such a capability; and (3) the development of this predictive capability would be enhanced by LANL`s strength in high performance computing. Wildfire behavior models have historically been used to predict fire spread and heat release for a prescribed set of fuel, slope, and wind conditions (Andrews 1986). In the vicinity of a fire, however, atmospheric conditions are constantly changing due to non-local weather influences and the intense heat of the fire itself. This non- linear process underscores the need for physics-based models that treat the atmosphere-fire feedback. Actual wildfire prediction with full-physics models is both time-critical and computationally demanding, since it must include regional- to local-scale weather forecasting together with the capability to accurately simulate both intense gradients across a fireline, and atmosphere/fire/fuel interactions. Los Alamos has recently (January 1997) acquired a number of SGI/Cray Origin 2000 machines, each presently having 32 to 64 processors. These high performance computing systems are part of the Department of Energy`s Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI). While offering impressive performance now, upgrades to the system promise to deliver over 1 Teraflop (10(12) floating point operations per second) at peak performance before the turn of the century.

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8 p.

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OSTI as DE98002669

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  • 78. American Meteorological Society annual meeting, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 11-16 Jan 1998

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  • Other: DE98002669
  • Report No.: LA-UR--97-4073
  • Report No.: CONF-980121--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 635205
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc694653

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  • December 31, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • May 5, 2016, 6:24 p.m.

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Bossert, James E.; Harlow, Francis H.; Linn, Rodman R.; Reisner, Jon M.; White, Andrew B. & Winterkamp, Judith L. Coupled Weather and Wildfire Behavior Modeling at Los Alamos: An Overview, article, December 31, 1997; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc694653/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.