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Scalable self attraction and loading calculations for unstructured ocean models


Brus, Steven; Barton, Kristin; Pal, Nairita; Roberts, Andrew; Engwirda, Darren; Arbic, Brian; Petersen, Mark; Wirasaet, Damrongsak; Westerink, Joannes


Self attraction and earth-loading effects are important for accurately modeling global tides. A common approach of handling this forcing is to expand mass anomalies into spherical harmonics, which are scaled by load Love numbers to account for elastic earth deformation. We investigate two different approaches to perform these calculations for ocean models that employ unstructured meshes and distributed memory parallelization. The first approach leverages a highly efficient spherical harmonics library, but requires all-to-one and one-to-all communications and interpolation operations between the unstructured and a structured mesh. This approach is compared to a parallel algorithm that computes the spherical harmonic transformations directly on the unstructured mesh with an all-reduce communication. Our results show that although the unstructured mesh calculations are more expensive, the scalability of the unstructured mesh approach allows for more efficient spherical harmonics transforms for high-resolution meshes and large processor counts. This methodology enables the efficient inclusion of tidal dynamics large-scale Earth system model simulations.