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The environment research area

The environment research area is part of the MODEST Challenge. It lies at the crossroads of transverse axes “Data assimilation and optimization” and “Uncertainties“.

Within this axis, CERFACS teams conduct scientific studies in various fields of geosciences. Researchers and engineers develop modeling tools,  implement data assimilation methods, run coupled models (multi-physical and / or multi-dimensional) and study the sources of uncertainty on systems. One goal is to apply this research in operational systems in a national and international context.

The methods of applied mathematics used here,  such as coupling or data assimilation,  are at the center of research works in the fields of oceanography, atmospheric chemistry, hydrology and forest fires.

Hydrology and hydraulics

Flood forecasting is a major natural hazard for the safety of goods and people. Actors in risk management and stakeholders in water resource management feature modeling tools and in situ observation network to simulate the flow dynamics. The capabilities of hydrological and hydrodynamic models are limited by several factors of uncertainty related to the description of the bathymetry / topography, hydraulic and hydrological parameters, or the terms of forcings such as hydrological flows and rainfall. These uncertainties can be reduced through data assimilation (in-situ and satellite), as implemented in the DAMP platform (Data Assimilation with MASCARET Platform).

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Forest fires

Predicting the behavior of a large-scale fire depends on a semi-empirical modeling of the propagation of a front (i.e. the interface between burned and unburned areas) involving the vegetation data description, geomorphology and meteorology, however tainted by various sources of error. CERFACS develops the ensemble data assimilation system  FIREFLY to sequentially correct the fire front parameters and position, and thus improve the predictive ability of the propagation models over the acquisition of observations on the front position.

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Invited communication to the BIDS'17 conference

thual |  12 December 2017

During an invited communication to the « Big Data from Space 2017 » conference, CERFACS presented the stakes and the perspectives of its strategic axis "Data Driven Modeling" from the point of view of the valorization of satellite data. For more details, see the article:...Read more

One Cerfacs’ proposal accepted in PRACE 15th call

superadmin |  4 December 2017

This study focuses on Hall-effect thrusters, which were first invented in the 1960s. Although such systems have been extensively studied, the detailed physics of the magnetized plasmas in these thrusters is very complex and several plasma processes that have direct influence on the thruster...Read more