The Geophysical Disaster Computational Fluid Dynamics Centre (GeoDisaster Centre) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) studies weather-related and other natural disasters, with an ultimate goal of enhancing the Canadian economy and saving lives. The major tool of the GeoDisaster Centre is a massively-parallel high-performance computer (HPC), which is used to solve fluid-flow equations describing weather, avalanches, forest fires, earthquakes and other natural phenomena. This research focuses on disasters that affect the complex mountainous and coastal terrain of Western Canada.
Wide Multiscale Forecasting is one theme of this research, where it is recognized that most weather-related disasters involve the interaction of horizontal flow of scales ranging from over 1000 km to less than 1 km. High-resolution, daily, numerical weather forecasts are the cornerstone for this pure and applied research, and provide the synoptic and mesoscale input for studies at much finer resolutions.
Major research projects include:
Major infrastructure grants from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the BC Know-ledge Development Fund, and UBC endowments allowed the purchase of a high performance computer. This 264-processor IBM Linux Cluster (Beowulf cluster) is networked to smaller (24 and 32 processor) clusters and shared-memory machines (4 and 8 processors).
The GeoDisaster Centre is an association of researchers drawn from the Faculties of Science, Agriculture, Forestry, Applied Science, and Arts. Included are the Departments of Earth & Ocean Science, Geography, Forestry, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, and the Programs of Atmospheric Science and Soil Science. Interdisciplinary, co-operative research is encouraged in the intellectually stimulating environment of the GeoDisaster Centre.
Courses taught by these professors cover the fields of meteorology, air quality, climatology, hydrology, oceanography, solid-earth geophysics, forestry, and engineering. This allows state-of-the-art advances gained by the GeoDisaster Centre to reach a wide audience of graduate and undergraduate students.Additional activities include:
Both applied and pure research are conducted by the GeoDisaster Centre.
Applied research includes: