Computational modes and grid imprinting on five quasi-uniform spherical C-grids
Weller, H., Thuburn, J. and Cotter, C. J. (2012) Computational modes and grid imprinting on five quasi-uniform spherical C-grids. Monthly Weather Review, 140 (8). pp. 2734-2755. ISSN 1520-0493
To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/MWR-D-11-00193.1
Currently, most operational forecasting models use latitude-longitude grids, whose convergence of meridians towards the poles limits parallel scaling. Quasi-uniform grids might avoid this limitation. Thuburn et al, JCP, 2009 and Ringler et al, JCP, 2010 have developed a method for arbitrarily-structured, orthogonal C-grids (TRiSK), which has many of the desirable properties of the C-grid on latitude-longitude grids but which works on a variety of quasi-uniform grids. Here, five quasi-uniform, orthogonal grids of the sphere are investigated using TRiSK to solve the shallow-water equations. We demonstrate some of the advantages and disadvantages of the hexagonal and triangular icosahedra, a Voronoi-ised cubed sphere, a Voronoi-ised skipped latitude-longitude grid and a grid of kites in comparison to a full latitude-longitude grid. We will show that the hexagonal-icosahedron gives the most accurate results (for least computational cost). All of the grids suffer from spurious computational modes; this is especially true of the kite grid, despite it having exactly twice as many velocity degrees of freedom as height degrees of freedom. However, the computational modes are easiest to control on the hexagonal icosahedron since they consist of vorticity oscillations on the dual grid which can be controlled using a diffusive advection scheme for potential vorticity.