User Guide


The basic workflow when using dorado can be summarized in three steps:

  1. Initialize the parameters class (dorado.particle_track.modelParams) for parameters related to the grid (model domain). This includes information about flow fields, grid cell size, and tuning parameters for the random walk.

  2. Initialize a dorado.particle_track.Particles class and generate a set of particles to be routed. A built in particle_generator() function is available to help with particle generation.

  3. Either use one of the high-level API procedures defined in, or simulation particle evolution using the run_iteration method.

Here we will describe some of the functionality built into the high-level API as well as the options available at the lower-level.

Defining the params

Defining the parameters is required prior to doing any particle routing. Initiation of the parameter class (dorado.particle_track.modelParams) can be achieved by typing the following:

>>> import dorado.particle_track as pt
>>> params = pt.modelParams()

After establishing the parameter class, information about the domain must be provided. As dorado is a generic package designed to be used with a variety of input datasets or model outputs, we have tried to make the required input parameters as flexible as possible, however some values must be provided.

Required Parameters

A brief description of the required parameters is listed below, for a comprehensive list, please refer to the API documentation: dorado.particle_track.

  • the length along a square cell face (dx)

  • 2 of the following 3 arrays describing the domain:

    • the water depth (depth)

    • the water stage (stage)

    • the topography (topography)

  • either the x and y components of water velocity (u and v) or the x and y components of the water discharge (qx and qy)

Optional Parameters

For a list of the optional parameters, please see dorado.particle_track, these parameters include values related to the random walk weighting scheme, travel time calculations, and even the distance and direction assumptions related to the grid.

Defining the Particles

Defining a dorado.particle_track.Particles class is a key step in using dorado to perform particle routing. To define a set of particles, the model parameters must first be defined as described above. The Particles class is initialized using an instance of the model parameters. From there, particles can be generated and routed.

Particle Generation and Routing

  • Particles can be generated using the dorado.particle_track.Particles.generate_particles function, this allows for random and exact placement of particles

  • Particles can be routed using either the High-Level or Low-Level API functionalities described below

The High-Level API

High-level functionality is provided in the script. Many of the example scripts take advantage of these methods and functions to route particles and make plots with minimal lines of code. A non-exhaustive list of the provided functionality is below.

Functions to route particles

  • Particle movement given a steady flow field with saving of the data and images after each particle iteration

  • Particle movement in an unsteady flow field with automated data and plot saving

  • Particle movement in a steady flow field with visualization of individual particle travel times

Functions to plot/interpret output

  • Query particle locations and travel times at a given iteration

  • Query particle locations at a given travel time

  • Plot the particle exposure time distributions

  • Animate the output images of particle locations

  • Plot the travel paths specified particles have taken

  • Plot the particle positions for a specified iteration or travel time

For additional detail, either view the script itself, or refer to the API documentation: dorado.routines.

The Lower-Level API

Lower-level functionality is provided in the script. At this level particle/domain parameters are assigned and more direct iterations with the particle routing functions are possible. A short list of the functionality present in this module is below.

  • Parameter and domain information definition in the params class

  • Particle initialization and generation of particles

  • The ability to run a particle iteration in the Particle class

  • Function for calculating exposure time (and residence time) of particles in a defined region of interest

  • Assorted functions for transforming from real coordinate systems to the raster domain used for the particle routing

For additional detail, either view the script itself, or refer to the API documentation: dorado.particle_track.