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Voronoi, Delaunay, and Block-Structured Mesh Refinement for Solution of the Shallow-Water Equations on the Sphere

Weller, H., Weller, H. G. and Fournier, A. (2009) Voronoi, Delaunay, and Block-Structured Mesh Refinement for Solution of the Shallow-Water Equations on the Sphere. Monthly Weather Review, 137 (12). pp. 4208-4224. ISSN 0027-0644

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/2009MWR2917.1

Abstract/Summary

Alternative meshes of the sphere and adaptive mesh refinement could be immensely beneficial for weather and climate forecasts, but it is not clear how mesh refinement should be achieved. A finite-volume model that solves the shallow-water equations on any mesh of the surface of the sphere is presented. The accuracy and cost effectiveness of four quasi-uniform meshes of the sphere are compared: a cubed sphere, reduced latitude–longitude, hexagonal–icosahedral, and triangular–icosahedral. On some standard shallow-water tests, the hexagonal–icosahedral mesh performs best and the reduced latitude–longitude mesh performs well only when the flow is aligned with the mesh. The inclusion of a refined mesh over a disc-shaped region is achieved using either gradual Delaunay, gradual Voronoi, or abrupt 2:1 block-structured refinement. These refined regions can actually degrade global accuracy, presumably because of changes in wave dispersion where the mesh is highly nonuniform. However, using gradual refinement to resolve a mountain in an otherwise coarse mesh can improve accuracy for the same cost. The model prognostic variables are height and momentum collocated at cell centers, and (to remove grid-scale oscillations of the A grid) the mass flux between cells is advanced from the old momentum using the momentum equation. Quadratic and upwind biased cubic differencing methods are used as explicit corrections to a fast implicit solution that uses linear differencing.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:1956
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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