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Predicting mesh density for adaptive modelling of the global atmosphere

Weller, H. (2009) Predicting mesh density for adaptive modelling of the global atmosphere. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 367 (1907). pp. 4523-4542. ISSN 1364-503X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2009.0151


The shallow water equations are solved using a mesh of polygons on the sphere, which adapts infrequently to the predicted future solution. Infrequent mesh adaptation reduces the cost of adaptation and load-balancing and will thus allow for more accurate mapping on adaptation. We simulate the growth of a barotropically unstable jet adapting the mesh every 12 h. Using an adaptation criterion based largely on the gradient of the vorticity leads to a mesh with around 20 per cent of the cells of a uniform mesh that gives equivalent results. This is a similar proportion to previous studies of the same test case with mesh adaptation every 1–20 min. The prediction of the mesh density involves solving the shallow water equations on a coarse mesh in advance of the locally refined mesh in order to estimate where features requiring higher resolution will grow, decay or move to. The adaptation criterion consists of two parts: that resolved on the coarse mesh, and that which is not resolved and so is passively advected on the coarse mesh. This combination leads to a balance between resolving features controlled by the large-scale dynamics and maintaining fine-scale features.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:1958
Publisher:Royal Society Publishing

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