INTRODUCING GRADUATE STUDENTS INTO PRE-PROCESSING TECHNIQUES FOR ADVANCED NUMERICAL MODELS: APPLICATION TO HYDRODYNAMIC MODELS
Advanced numerical models are very useful tools not only for research proposes, but also to introduce graduate students into applied and technical works. Moreover, these models constitute a highly valuable instrument to understand and verify the theoretical concepts given before the practical lessons. However, during these lessons it is usual to omit the complete process necessary to implement complex hydrodynamic numerical models; for instance, searching information about the numerical domain and data of the forcing agents for the boundary and initial conditions. Data preparation is often the key to properly pose the numerical problem. Among others hydrodynamic models, Delft3D is one of the most widely used because it is able to simulate the main coastal, river and estuarine processes, being of special interests for students of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
The objective of this work is to present a methodology to introduce graduate student into the pre-processing procedure to properly implement and apply hydrodynamic models such as Delft 3D. Data preparation is put on perspective as part of a decision-making process in practical lessons of these models. This procedure comprises stages such as the generation of files for the initial and boundary conditions, and also the verification of the appropriateness of the format and content of the data files required by the model.
The presented methodology comprises three main stages. First (1), a detailed analysis of the problem is performed to know the time and spatial scales that have to be considered to solve the problem and the main variables to be treated. Second (2), the necessary data for the initial and boundary conditions are analysed, and the sources of these data are identified and obtained. Third (3) the corresponding data files to be introduced into the Delft3D model are prepared.
After the application of this methodology, students become familiar with the pre-processing processes. They were capable of: (1) setting out the variables to be solved, selecting the different variables which are necessary to implement the model, (2) collecting all data using different sources available on internet or using other tools, such as Matlab applications, (3) learning and understanding the different formats to ensure a proper implementation of the model and (4) introducing the data appropriately to solve initial problems that usually arise, such as the lack of data. During the conference, the different source of data and tools employed will be presented, as well as a discussion on the advantages of applying this kind of approaches on practical lessons for implementing numerical models.