Shallow water simulations on multiple GPUs

Martin Lilleeng Saetra, Andre Rigland Brodtkorb
Center of Mathematics for Applications, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1053 Blindern, NO-0316 Oslo, Norway
Applied Parallel and Scientific Computing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 7134/2012, 56-66, 2012


   title={Shallow water simulations on multiple GPUs},

   author={S{ae}tra, M. and Brodtkorb, A.},

   journal={Applied Parallel and Scientific Computing},





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We present a state-of-the-art shallow water simulator running on multiple GPUs. Our implementation is based on an explicit high-resolution finite volume scheme suitable for modeling dam breaks and flooding. We use row domain decomposition to enable multi-GPU computations, and perform traditional CUDA block decomposition within each GPU for further parallelism. Our implementation shows near perfect weak and strong scaling, and enables simulation of domains consisting of up-to 235 million cells at a rate of over 1.2 gigacells per second using four Fermi-generation GPUs. The code is thoroughly benchmarked using three different systems, both high-performance and commodity-level systems.
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