GEO4PALM v1.1: an open-source geospatial data processing toolkit for the PALM model system

Lin, Dongqi; Zhang, Jiawei; Khan, Basit; Katurji, Marwan; Revell, Laura E.

A geospatial data processing tool, GEO4PALM, has been developed to generate geospatial static input for the Parallelized Large-Eddy Simulation (PALM) model system. PALM is a community-driven large-eddy simulation model for atmospheric and environmental research. Throughout PALM's 20-year development, research interests have been increasing in its application to realistic conditions, especially for urban areas. For such applications, geospatial static input is essential. Although abundant geospatial data are accessible worldwide, geospatial data availability and quality are highly variable and inconsistent. Currently, the geospatial static input generation tools in the PALM community heavily rely on users for data acquisition and pre-processing. New PALM users face large obstacles, including significant time commitments, to gain the knowledge needed to be able to pre-process geospatial data for PALM. Expertise beyond atmospheric and environmental research is frequently needed to understand the data sets required by PALM. Here, we present GEO4PALM, which is a free and open-source tool. GEO4PALM helps users generate PALM static input files with a simple, homogenised, and standardised process. GEO4PALM is compatible with geospatial data obtained from any source, provided that the data sets comply with standard geo-information formats. Users can either provide existing geospatial data sets or use the embedded data interfaces to download geo-information data from free online sources for any global geographic area of interest. All online data sets incorporated in GEO4PALM are globally available, with several data sets having the finest resolution of 1 m. In addition, GEO4PALM provides a graphical user interface (GUI) for PALM domain configuration and visualisation. Two application examples demonstrate successful PALM simulations driven by geospatial input generated by GEO4PALM using different geospatial data sources for Berlin, Germany, and Ōtautahi / Christchurch, New Zealand. GEO4PALM provides an easy and efficient way for PALM users to configure and conduct PALM simulations for applications and investigations such as urban heat island effects, air pollution dispersion, renewable energy resourcing, and weather-related hazard forecasting. The wide applicability of GEO4PALM makes PALM more accessible to a wider user base in the scientific community.



Lin, Dongqi / Zhang, Jiawei / Khan, Basit / et al: GEO4PALM v1.1: an open-source geospatial data processing toolkit for the PALM model system. 2024. Copernicus Publications.


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