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Runge-Kutta IMEX schemes for the Horizontally Explicit/Vertically Implicit (HEVI) solution of wave equations

Weller, H., Lock, S.-J. and Wood, N. (2013) Runge-Kutta IMEX schemes for the Horizontally Explicit/Vertically Implicit (HEVI) solution of wave equations. Journal of Computational Physics, 252. pp. 365-381. ISSN 0021-9991

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/


Many operational weather forecasting centres use semi-implicit time-stepping schemes because of their good efficiency. However, as computers become ever more parallel, horizontally explicit solutions of the equations of atmospheric motion might become an attractive alternative due to the additional inter-processor communication of implicit methods. Implicit and explicit (IMEX) time-stepping schemes have long been combined in models of the atmosphere using semi-implicit, split-explicit or HEVI splitting. However, most studies of the accuracy and stability of IMEX schemes have been limited to the parabolic case of advection–diffusion equations. We demonstrate how a number of Runge–Kutta IMEX schemes can be used to solve hyperbolic wave equations either semi-implicitly or HEVI. A new form of HEVI splitting is proposed, UfPreb, which dramatically improves accuracy and stability of simulations of gravity waves in stratified flow. As a consequence it is found that there are HEVI schemes that do not lose accuracy in comparison to semi-implicit ones. The stability limits of a number of variations of trapezoidal implicit and some Runge–Kutta IMEX schemes are found and the schemes are tested on two vertical slice cases using the compressible Boussinesq equations split into various combinations of implicit and explicit terms. Some of the Runge–Kutta schemes are found to be beneficial over trapezoidal, especially since they damp high frequencies without dropping to first-order accuracy. We test schemes that are not formally accurate for stiff systems but in stiff limits (nearly incompressible) and find that they can perform well. The scheme ARK2(2,3,2) performs the best in the tests.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:33189
Uncontrolled Keywords:Implicit; Explicit; Runge–Kutta; Compressible; Atmosphere; Wave equations


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