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Title: Simulation of all-scale atmospheric dynamics on unstructured meshes
Authors: Smolarkiewicz, Piotr K.
Szmelter, Joanna
Xiao, Feng
Keywords: Unstructured mesh atmospheric models
Nonoscillatory forward-in-time schemes
Anelastic equations
Compressible low Mach number flows
Atmospheric flows
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: SMOLARKIEWICZ, P.K., SZMELTER, J. and XIAO, F., 2016. Simulation of all-scale atmospheric dynamics on unstructured meshes. Journal of Computational Physics, 322, pp. 267-287.
Abstract: The advance of massively parallel computing in the nineteen nineties and beyond encouraged finer grid intervals in numerical weather-prediction models. This has improved resolution of weather systems and enhanced the accuracy of forecasts, while setting the trend for development of unified all-scale atmospheric models. This paper first outlines the historical background to a wide range of numerical methods advanced in the process. Next, the trend is illustrated with a technical review of a versatile nonoscillatory forward-in-time finite-volume (NFTFV) approach, proven effective in simulations of atmospheric flows from small-scale dynamics to global circulations and climate. The outlined approach exploits the synergy of two specific ingredients: the MPDATA methods for the simulation of fluid flows based on the sign-preserving properties of upstream differencing; and the flexible finite-volume median-dual unstructured-mesh discretisation of the spatial differential operators comprising PDEs of atmospheric dynamics. The paper consolidates the concepts leading to a family of generalised nonhydrostatic NFTFV flow solvers that include soundproof PDEs of incompressible Boussinesq, anelastic and pseudo-incompressible systems, common in large-eddy simulation of small- and meso-scale dynamics, as well as all-scale compressible Euler equations. Such a framework naturally extends predictive skills of large-eddy simulation to the global atmosphere, providing a bottom-up alternative to the reverse approach pursued in the weather-prediction models. Theoretical considerations are substantiated by calculations attesting to the versatility and efficacy of the NFTFV approach. Some prospective developments are also discussed.
Description: This paper is closed access until 30th June 2017.
Sponsor: This work was supported by the funding received from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2012/ERC Grant agreement no. 320375), and from the ESCAPE project; ESCAPE is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Programme—grant agreement 671627.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcp.2016.06.048
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/23201
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcp.2016.06.048
ISSN: 0021-9991
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering)

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