Fixed grid output

New in v5.9.0:

See also:

GeoClaw has the capability to output the results at specified output times on a specified “fixed grid” by interpolating from the AMR grids active at each output time.

This complements the normal output frame capabilities of Clawpack, and has several advantages for some applications, particularly when making animations or when using the GeoClaw solution as input to another process, such as particle tracking.

Advantages include:

1. The solution is output on a fixed uniform grid at each fgout time, independent of the AMR structure. This is useful in order to produce a set of frames for an animation that are all the same resolution with the same size array.

2. It is possible to produce fgout outputs at times that do not coincide with the time steps of the computation, whereas standard frame output can only occur at the end of a time step on the coarsest level. Hence fgout output does not require reducing the time step to hit the fgout times exactly, which would cause significant increase in computing time and possible degradation of the computed solution if the coarse grid time steps had to be greatly reduced to match frequent output times in a finely resolved region.

3. When exploring the solution or making an animation over one small portion of the computational domain, it is possible to create an fgout grid that only covers this region at the desired resolution and does not require output of the entire AMR structure over the entire computational domain at each output time. This can greatly reduce the size of the output in some cases.

4. If an fgout grid is output with sufficiently fine temporal resolution, then this set of data can be used to explore the solution in various ways using post-processing. For example, it is possible to spatially interpolate to any desired location within the grid and produce a time series of the solution at this point. This would be similar to the gauge output produced by GeoClaw, but would allow specifying the point of interest after the fact, whereas standard gauages must be specified in advance of the GeoClaw run (see Gauges). Similarly, the fluid velocities computed from GeoClaw can be used to track particles (as massless tracer particles for visualization purposes, or with more complex dynamics for debris tracking). The Python module fgout_tools module for working with fgout grids provides some tools for interpolating from fgout frames to arbitrary points (x,y,t).

The original version of this, capability, originally called fixedgrid output in Clawpack 4.6 was carried over and existed through v5.8.x, but has been removed as of Version 5.9.0.

An improved version for monitoring maximum values and arrival times was added in v5.7.0, referred to as fgmax grids; see Fixed grid monitoring.

An improved version of the capability to output on a fixed grid at more frequent times than the standard AMR output has been introduced in v5.9.0, and these are now called fgout grids to complement the fgmax grids. These fgout grids are described further below.

Input file specification

The GeoClaw Fortran code reads in one or more files that specify fgout grids grid(s) for writing out the solution on a fixed grid throughout the computation.

The desired fgout grid(s) are specified to GeoClaw in, by setting rundata.fgout_data.fgout_grids to be a list of objects of class fgout_tools.FGoutGrid. After doing make data or make .output, these are written out to, the file that is read by the Fortran code at runtime.

More than one fgout grid can be specified, and an integer label with at most 4 digits can be assigned to each grid. You can assign numbers to each fgout grid using the fgno attribute, described below. If you do not assign numbers, they will be numbered sequentially (1,2, etc.) based on the order they are specified in the file.

A simple example

Here’s an example of how one grid can be set up:

from clawpack.geoclaw import fgout_tools

fgout_grids = rundata.fgout_data.fgout_grids  # empty list initially

fgout = fgout_tools.FGoutGrid()
fgout.fgno = 1
fgout.output_format = 'binary32'
fgout.nx = 200
fgout.ny = 250
fgout.x1 = -115.
fgout.x2 = -70.
fgout.y1 = -55.
fgout.y2 = -10.
fgout.tstart = 0.
fgout.tend = 6.*3600
fgout.nout = 37

This specifies output on a 200 by 250 grid of equally spaced points on the rectangle [-115, -70] x [-55, -10]. (Note that these values are cell edges, the actual fgout points will be at cell centers, displaced from these edges. See fgout grid registration below.)

The output times are equally spaced from tstart = 0 to tend = 6*3600 (6 hours). There will be 37 total outputs, so one every 10 minutes.

The parameter fgout.output_format can be set to ‘ascii’, ‘binary32’, or ‘binary64’, the same options as supported for the standard output in geoclaw as of v5.9.0. Usually`’binary32’` is best, which truncates the float64 (kind=8) computated values in the fortran code to float32 (kind=4) before dumping the raw binary. This is almost always sufficient precision for plotting or post-processing needs, and results in smaller files than either of the other options. This may be particularly important if hundreds of fgout frames are saved for making an animation or doing particle tracking.

Format of fgout output

After GeoClaw has run, the output directory should contain files of this form for each fgout grid:

  • fgout0001.t0000 # containing info about this output time

  • fgout0001.q0000 # header (and also data if output_format==’ascii’)

  • fgout0001.b0000 # data in binary format (only if output_format==’binary32’ or ‘binary64’)

These would be for fgout grid number fgno = 1 at the first output time.

These files have exactly the same format as the output files produced at each output time for standard GeoClaw output (and more generally for any Clawpack output), as described at Output data sytles and formats. The style allows specifying AMR output in which there are many grids at each output time, possibly at various refinement levels. In the case of fgout grids there will always be only a single grid at each output time, with AMR_level set to 0 in the header files to indicate that these grids are not part of the general AMR hierarchy.

Using to produce plots

Since the files have the same format as the usual fort.t, fort.q, and fort.b files for Clawpack output, it is possible to use a file to set up plotting this sequence of fgout frames in exactly the same manner as for standard output. The only difference is that it is necessary to specify that the file names start with fgout… rather than fort.. This can be done in via:

plotdata.file_prefix = 'fgout0001'  # for fgout grid fgno==1
plotdata.format = 'binary32'    # set to match fgout.output_format

An example is provided in $CLAW/geoclaw/examples/tsunami/chile2010_fgmax-fgout.

Reading and plotting fgout arrays directly

Alternatively, since every output frame consists of only a single uniform grid of data, it is much easier to manipulate or plot this data directly than for general AMR data. The module described at fgout_tools module for working with fgout grids provides tools for reading frames and producing arrays that can then be worked with directly. It also contains tools for interpolating within these grids in both space and time.

For example, here’s how to read a frame 5 of an fgout grid set up as above:

fgno = 1
outdir = '_output'
output_format = 'binary32'  # format of fgout grid output
fgout_grid = fgout_tools.FGoutGrid(fgno, outdir, output_format)

fgframe = 5
fgout = fgout_grid.read_frame(fgframe)

Then fgout.X and fgout.Y are 2-dimensional arrays defining the grid and fgout.q defines the standard GeoClaw q array, with q[0:4,:,:] corresponding to h, hu, hv, eta, where eta = h+B and B is the topography. For convenience, additional attributes are defined using lazy evaluation only if requested by the user, including h, hu, hv, eta, u, v, s, hss, where s is the speed and hss is the momentum flux.

The values in fgout.X and fgout.Y are the cell centers of the fgout grid, and if you want to plot the q values on this grid you should use clawpack.visclaw.plottools.pcolorcells, as described at pcolorcells. For example, here’s a minimalist example of plotting the water surface eta on top of topography for a single frame of fgout data as read above:

from clawpack.visclaw import plottools, geoplot
from numpy import ma

plottools.pcolorcells(fgout.X,fgout.Y,fgout.B, cmap=geoplot.land_colors)
eta = ma.masked_where(fgout.h<0.001, fgout.eta)
eta_plot = plottools.pcolorcells(fgout.X,fgout.Y,eta, cmap=geoplot.tsunami_colormap)

For more detailed examples of plotting, including making animations, see $CLAW/geoclaw/examples/tsunami/chile2010_fgmax-fgout.

fgout grid registration

Note above that fgout points are specified by setting e.g. fgout.x1, fgout.x2 and fgout.nx in For consistency with the way the finite volume computational grid is specified in (and written to the output files), the values x1, x2 are viewed as cell edges and nx is the desired number of cells (in the x direction). The actual fgout points will be at the cell centers. So the cell width (= distance between points) is dx = (x2-x1)/nx, and the first fgout point (cell center) will have x coordinate x1 + dx/2.

Solution values at these points are interpolated from the finite volume GeoClaw solution as described in the next section.

Choice of interpolation procedure

The fgout grid need not be aligned with any computational grid, and in general it may overlap several grids at different AMR resolutions. At each fgout time requested, the solution is interpolated from the finest available AMR grid covering each fgout point, at both the last time step before the fgout time and the first time step after the fgout time.

The default spatial interpolation method used to assign values to fgout points at each time step is to assume the computational solution is constant in each finite volume cell and simply evaluate this value in the finest AMR level grid cell that includes the fgout point. This is controlled by the parameter method = 0 in subroutine fgout_interp in $CLAW/geoclaw/src/2d/shallow/fgout_module.f90. This is generally recommended rather than setting method = 1, which gives linear interpolation between finite volume cell centers, because interpolating h, B, and eta separately near the shore can lead to unphysically large values of h and/or eta (see Nearshore interpolation).

Similarly, the temporal intepolation between the two neighboring time steps is done by simply using the value at the later time step, as controlled by the parameter method = 0 in the subroutine fgout_write in $CLAW/geoclaw/src/2d/shallow/fgout_module.f90. This is generally recommended rather than setting method = 1, which gives linear interpolation between the times, because interpolating h, B, and eta separately near the shore can lead to unphysically large values of h and/or eta (see Nearshore interpolation).

If you want to change one of these methods, you can make your own version of fgout_module.f90 and point to this in the Makefile under MODULES= (see Replacing files with the same name as library files).