Advancing Artificial Neural Network Parameterization for Atmospheric Turbulence Using a Variational Multiscale Model

M. Janssens, S. J. Hulshoff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Data-driven parameterizations offer considerable potential for improving the fidelity of General Circulation Models. However, ensuring that these remain consistent with the governing equations while still producing stable simulations remains a challenge. In this paper, we propose a combined Variational-Multiscale (VMS) Artificial Neural Network (ANN) discretization which makes no a priori assumptions on the model form, and is only restricted in its accuracy by the precision of the ANN. Using a simplified problem, we demonstrate that good predictions of the required closure terms can be obtained with relatively compact ANN architectures. We then turn our attention to the stability of the VMS-ANN discretization in the context of a single implicit time step. It is demonstrated that the ANN parameterization introduces nonphysical solutions to the governing equations that can significantly affect or prevent convergence. We show that enriching the training data with nonphysical states from intra-time step iterations is an effective remedy. This indicates that the lack of representative ANN-induced errors in our original, exact training inputs underpin the observed instabilities. In turn, this suggests that data set enrichment might aid in resolving instabilities that develop over several time steps.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021MS002490
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Artificial Neural Networks
  • atmospheric boundary layer turbulence
  • machine learning
  • subgrid-scale modeling
  • variational multiscale methods


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