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POSEIDON: An integrated system for analysis and forecast of hydrological, meteorological and surface marine fields in the Mediterranean area

TitlePOSEIDON: An integrated system for analysis and forecast of hydrological, meteorological and surface marine fields in the Mediterranean area
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsSperanza, A., Accadia C., Casaioli M., Mariani S., Monacelli G., Inghilesi R., Tartaglione N., Ruti P.M., Carillo Adriana, Bargagli A., Pisacane Giovanna, Valentinotti F., and Lavagnini A.
JournalNuovo Cimento della Societa Italiana di Fisica C

The Mediterranean area is characterized by relevant hydrological, meteorological and marine processes developing at horizontal space-scales of the order of 1-100 km. In the recent past, several international programs have been addressed (ALPEX, POEM, MAP, etc.) to "resolving" the dynamics of such motions. Other projects (INTERREG-Flooding, MEDEX, etc.) are at present being developed with special emphasis on catastrophic events with major impact on human society that are, quite often, characterized in their manifestation by processes with the above-mentioned scales of motion. In the dynamical evolution of such events, however, equally important is the dynamics of interaction of the local (and sometimes very damaging) processes with others developing at larger scales of motion. In fact, some of the most catastrophic events in the history of Mediterranean countries are associated with dynamical processes covering all the range of space-time scales from planetary to local. The Prevision Operational System for the mEditerranean basIn and the Defence of the lagOon of veNice (POSEIDON) is an integrated system for the analysis and forecast of hydrological, meteorological, oceanic fields specifically designed and set up in order to bridge the gap between global and local scales of motion, by modeling explicitly the above referred to dynamical processes in the range of scales from Mediterranean to local. The core of POSEIDON consists of a "cascade" of numerical models that, starting from global scale numerical analysis-forecast, goes all the way to very local phenomena, like tidal propagation in Venice Lagoon. The large computational load imposed by such operational design requires necessarily parallel computing technology: the first model in the cascade is a parallelised version of BOlogna Limited Area Model (BOLAM) running on a Quadrics 128 processors computer (also known as QBOLAM). POSEIDON, developed in the context of a co-operation between the Italian Agency for New technologies, Energy and Environment (Ente per le Nuove tecnologie, l'Energia e l'Ambiente, ENEA) and the Italian Agency for Environmental Protection and Technical Services (Agenzia per la Protezione dell'Ambiente e per i Servizi Tecnici, APAT), has become operational in 2000 and we are presently in the condition of drawing some preliminary conclusions about its performance. In the paper we describe the scientific concepts that were at the basis of the original planning, the structure of the system, its operational cycle and some preliminary scientific and technical evaluations after two years of experimentation. © Società Italians di Fisica.


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Citation KeySperanza2004329