NCSA Environmental Hydrology demo at SC98

Technical Information and Downloads

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This document describes, in detail, the software demonstrated at SC98. It also includes links to the various pieces.

NOTE: Many components of this system (Globus, Java) have undergone extensive development since 1998. Although individual pieces should still work, it may not be possible to reassemble the entire demo.

Parts of the demonstrated system

The demonstrated system consists of the workbench user interface, the component models, and the coupling toolkit.

The workbench invokes the VisAD visualization system and either the ssh secure shell system or the Globus remote resource allocation system.

We also developed and showed a novel multiple-scale virtual reality demonstration on an Immersadesk, using a modified version of the CAVE5D visualization package.

On the floor at SC98 the CAVE5D visualization was shown on an Immersadesk while the workbench was displayed on a Sun workstation next to the I-desk. The Sun was graciously provided by Steve Pietrowicz of NCSA.

Makefiles and configure scripts are provided with all components.


This prototype of the "Hydrologists Workbench" is a GUI for starting the component models discussed below. The Workbench is written in Java 2 and Swing. It is recommended that the component models be installed before actually trying to run the workbench.

There are two versions of the workbench. The Globus version uses Globus software to start the various models on the target machines. It requires the user to have Globus keys on all machines that will be running the components. The ssh version requires that an ssh server be running on all machines running components. A third alternative is to run the mesoscale model offline and run the "precipsender" and the hydrology code locally. This requires a simple modification to the ssh version, replacing ssh calls with local shell commands invoking the components.

Globus Version

ssh Version

Running the workbench

Component Models

Runoff Model

Storm Model (MM5)

Precipsender: Instead of running the full storm model, precipsender reads precomputed precip data from a file and sends it to the coupler. Get program and dataset.

Coupling Toolkit:

Field Transfer library


Test Case

Test case data and results. We chose a storm which flooded the Chicago area in 1996 for a test case. MM5 initial data and real topography for the runoff model were generated.

Instructions for running base components manually.

Virtual Reality Application

To provide a 3D view of how the Storm model and runoff model look when acting together, two vis5d files, one from an MM5 run and one from a flow2d run, where combined together into one Cave5D simulation. Cave5D was modified by Nick Rasmussen to show two vis5d files in the same virutal space.

Download the modified cave5d and data sets.