Proposed Topic for CSI 803 with Professor D. Carr

Visualization of Polar Ocean Parameters using Vis5D

Presented by:
Gary Page and Harold Geller

Using high resolution model data generated during an eight 
hour run on the Arctic Region Supercomputer Center (ARSC) 
Cray Y/MP, we propose to demonstrate how scientific 
visualization techniques could be used to provide a clearer 
understanding of the physical oceanographic characteristics 
of the Arctic Ocean currents.  The model output was provided 
to us by the researcher who developed the model on a 
National Science Foundation (NSF) grant , DR. Sergio 
Signorini, currently with General Sciences Corporation.  His 
results are to be published in an upcoming issue of the 
Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR).  Some of these 
results appear on the World Wide Web at the following URL:

For this project, we propose to use a scientific 
visualization package called Vis5D, developed at the 
University of Wisconsin.  To utilize Vis5D, a number of 
steps have to take place.  First we need to deal with the 
format of the data file required by the model.  We are 
currently working on this phase of the effort.  Second, we 
need to develop a topographic/bathymetric mask for the data 
set.  Our approach to this is to utilize a dataset of 
topographic and bathymetric data which is available from the 
[U.S.] Department of Defense (DoD).  This dataset also must 
be converted into a format readable by the Vis5D software.  
We are currently in the process of performing this 
conversion.  Once the data is usable to the Vis5D software 
we will then need to merge this topographic data set with 
the actual model data.

At this point we intend to attempt to compare the model data 
output with some new data from the region just released by 
the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).  
Unfortunately, the NSIDC data is a peculiar format and this 
may be difficult to extract and utilize in the time given.  
Nonetheless, we hope to demonstrate the utility of the Vis5D 
software and other ancillary tools in the visualization of 
cutting edge science data.  Dr. Signorini has expressed 
particular interest in this aspect of the effort which would 
serve as a validation of his model output

Summary of Semester Project, As Planned

The first phase of our effort involves the visualization of 
model data in the context of the topographical and physical 
environmental conditions in the Barrow Canyon region.  This 
involves manipulation of a large data set (>40 Megabytes), 
use of ancillary tools to convert the model data and the 
topographic data into a useable format and the use of 
various mathematical and statistical processes to scale the 
data so that it is appropriate for use with Vis5D.

The second phase of our effort would involve the conversion 
of newly released physical oceanographic empirical data from 
the Barrow Canyon region into a format useable by Vis5D.

Finally, with all data properly converted and accessible to 
the visualization software, we would be able to provide some 
verification and validation of the modeling techniques used 
to study this Barrow Canyon region.  We expect that this 
portion of the effort will involve significant statistical 
analyses as well as extensive visualizations.

The originator of the Barrow Canyon physical oceanographic 
model, Dr. Sergio Signorini, has expressed interest in this 
visualization effort.  Due to the current high level of 
research interest in the Arctic region, this project may 
feasibly result in the publication of a paper dealing with 
the accuracy of such modeling approaches against empirical 
data.  Dr. Signorini has actively encouraged us to pursue 
this effort.