University of Texas at Austin
Computational Hydraulics Group

Computational Hydraulics Group

The Computational Hydraulics Group (CHG) at the Oden Institute investigates the use of high-performance computing to significantly advance the state-of-the-art in environmental fluid mechanics models. We develop models and numerical methods to improve understanding of the mechanisms of flooding and storm surges involved in tightly coupled wind, waves, circulation, geomorphology, and rainfall. We develop high resolution descriptions of the physical domain and adaptively resolve energetic flow scales, and investigate accurate, robust and highly parallelizable numerical algorithms. The ADvanced CIRculation modeling framework (ADCIRC) is a finite element coastal ocean model developed through collaboration between CHG and the University of Notre Dame, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of Oklahoma and a number of other collaborators across the U.S. and around the world. The CHG also has a long history in development of discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods and its members are among the developers of the high fidelity coastal and riverine flow Discontinuous Galerkin Shallow Water Equations Model (DG-SWEM).  DG-SWEM is developed as a collaboration between the CHG, Ohio State University, and the University of Notre Dame. In addition to these models, the CHG uses and contributes to the development of other models, including the Adaptive Hydraulics (ADH) model from the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Recently, CHG researchers have developed software to couple some of the aforementioned models in an effort to maximize the exploitation of the strengths of each individual model. 


Clint Dawson
Clint Dawson
Computational Mechanics Partial Differential Equations

Faculty and Research Staff




Members outside the Oden Institute

Chrysoula Panethymitaki, Trey Gower, Ira Narang

CHG's recent efforts include investigation of high-resolution algorithms based on discontinuous Galerkin finite element methods. Methodologies are being implemented and tested on a variety of computational platforms, from workstations to petascale parallel computers. The parallel simulators are scalable to tens of thousands of processors.

CHG researchers are part of the multi-university ADCIRC (Advanced Circulation) development team. ADCIRC is a modeling framework for shallow water hydrodynamics, with applications to hurricane storm surge modeling, coastal sustainability and development of hurricane protection systems, and modeling of coastal environments. In addition, the group develops "next-generation" simulators with the long-range goal of performing high-resolution, operational real-time forecasting and hindcasting.

In addition to developing numerical methods for PDEs, CHG performs research in data assimilation and parameter estimation, using variational methods and ensemble methods. These algorithms are also being applied to problems in groundwater and surface water.

Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure DesignSafe-CI
National Science Foundation
Ellen Rathje, Clint Dawson, Jamie Padgett, Jean-Paul Pinelli, Dan Stanzione

PREEVENTS:  A Dynamic Unified Framework for Hurricane Storm Surge Analysis and Prediction Spanning across the Coastal Floodplain and Ocean
National Science Foundation
Clint Dawson, Joannes Westerink, Ethan Kubatko and Laxmikant Kale

Detecting, Tracking, and Forecasting of Hazardous Spills in the Red Sea
Clint Dawson, Omar Knio and Ibrahim Hoteit

Building Coupled Storm Surge and Wave Operational Forecasting Capacity for Western Alaska
Clint Dawson, Joannes Westerink and  Andre van der Westhuysen

Coupling the National Water Model to the Coastal Ocean for Predicting Water Hazards
Clint Dawson, Brian Blanton and Rick Luettich

Improving the Efficiency of Wave and Surge Models via Adaptive Mesh Resolution
Department of Homeland Security Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence
Clint Dawson and Casey Dietrich