28 June 2018

Lecture by Mark R. Petersen on Ocean Modeling in the High Desert.

Lecture by Mark Roger Petersen on 28 June 2018, 11:00-12:00 in the Raiffa room.



Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, U.S. Department of Energy

Mission: To solve national security challenges through scientific excellence

Vision: To deliver science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Goal: Deliver national nuclear security and broader global security mission solutions


  • Provide a safe, secure, and effective stockpile
  • Protect against the nuclear threat
  • Counter emerging threats and create new opportunities
  • Provide solutions to strengthen energy security


Climate research at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) includes the development of ocean, sea-ice, atmosphere, land-vegetation and land-ice models. The ability to run high-resolution global simulations efficiently on the world’s largest computers is a priority for the DOE. In this talk Mark Petersen will describe his experiences as a lead developer for a new variable-resolution ocean model, the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS-Ocean), which is a component of the DOE’s newly released Energy, Exascale, Earth System Model (E3SM). Model components must be thoroughly validated in numerous settings, from idealized domains to real-world simulations. Output is compared to the historical record of satellite and shipboard observations, and other ocean models.

Applications of E3SM include standard IPCC historical and future scenarios as well as special configurations where model resolution is enhanced in regions of particular interest, like coastal areas, the Arctic, or below Antarctic ice shelves.


Mark Petersen works at the intersection of applied mathematics, oceanography, and high performance computing. He has been responsible, with others, for MPAS-Ocean development from its inception in 2010, and added new capability so that MPAS-Ocean could simulate ocean flows below ice shelves. His daily work includes designing algorithms, maintaining code, model verification and validation, computational performance, and analyzing output. Mark received a PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and joined Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2005.

He enjoys playing music, running, and camping with his family in the mountains of New Mexico.

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Last edited: 12 April 2018


Anni Reissell

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Exploratory and Special Projects

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Katica De Pascale

Administrative Assistant: ESP

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Belyaev V (1976). Mathematical Modeling and Evaluation of Biological Resources of the Ocean. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-76-029

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