Controlling the computational modes of the arbitrarily structured C-grid
Weller, H. (2012) Controlling the computational modes of the arbitrarily structured C-grid. Monthly Weather Review, 140 (10). pp. 3220-3234. ISSN 1520-0493
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/MWR-D-11-00221.1
The arbitrarily structured C-grid, TRiSK (Thuburn, Ringler, Skamarock and Klemp, 2009, 2010) is being used in the ``Model for Prediction Across Scales'' (MPAS) and is being considered by the UK Met Office for their next dynamical core. However the hexagonal C-grid supports a branch of spurious Rossby modes which lead to erroneous grid-scale oscillations of potential vorticity (PV). It is shown how these modes can be harmlessly controlled by using upwind-biased interpolation schemes for PV. A number of existing advection schemes for PV are tested, including that used in MPAS, and none are found to give adequate results for all grids and all cases. Therefore a new scheme is proposed; continuous, linear-upwind stabilised transport (CLUST), a blend between centred and linear-upwind with the blend dependent on the flow direction with respect to the cell edge. A diagnostic of grid-scale oscillations is proposed which gives further discrimination between schemes than using potential enstrophy alone and indeed some schemes are found to destroy potential enstrophy while grid-scale oscillations grow. CLUST performs well on hexagonal-icosahedral grids and unrotated skipped latitude-longitude grids of the sphere for various shallow water test cases. Despite the computational modes, the hexagonal icosahedral grid performs well since these modes are easy and harmless to filter. As a result TRiSK appears to perform better than a spectral shallow water model.