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Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 217–244 | Cite as

A Godunov-Type Scheme for Atmospheric Flows on Unstructured Grids: Euler and Navier-Stokes Equations

  • Nash'at AhmadEmail author
  • Zafer Boybeyi
  • Rainald Löhner
  • Ananthakrishna Sarma
Article

Abstract

In recent years there has been a growing interest in using Godunov-type methods for atmospheric flow problems. Godunov's unique approach to numerical modeling of fluid flow is characterized by introducing physical reasoning in the development of the numerical scheme (van Leer, 1999). The construction of the scheme itself is based upon the physical phenomenon described by the equation sets. These finite volume discretizations are conservative and have the ability to resolve regions of steep gradients accurately, thus avoiding dispersion errors in the solution. Positivity of scalars (an important factor when considering the transport of microphysical quantities) is also guaranteed by applying the total variation diminishing condition appropriately. This paper describes the implementation of a Godunov-type finite volume scheme based on unstructured adaptive grids for simulating flows on the meso-, micro- and urban-scales. The Harten-Lax-van Leer-Contact (HLLC) approximate Riemann solver used to calculate the Godunov fluxes is described in detail. The higher-order spatial accuracy is achieved via gradient reconstruction techniques after van Leer and the total variation diminishing condition is enforced with the aid of slope-limiters. A multi-stage explicit Runge-Kutta time marching scheme is used for maintaining higher-order accuracy in time. The scheme is conservative and exhibits minimal numerical dispersion and diffusion. The subgrid scale diffusion in the model is parameterized via the Smagorinsky-Lilly turbulence closure. The scheme uses a non-staggered mesh arrangement of variables (all quantities are cell-centered) and requires no explicit filtering for stability. A comparison with exact solutions shows that the scheme can resolve the different types of wave structures admitted by the atmospheric flow equation set. A qualitative evaluation for an idealized test case of convection in a neutral atmosphere is also presented. The scheme was able to simulate the onset of Kelvin-Helmholtz type instability and shows promise in simulating atmospheric flows characterized by sharp gradients without using explicit filtering for numerical stability.

Keywords

Atmospheric flows Godunov method unstructured grids Riemann solver 

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel, 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nash'at Ahmad
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zafer Boybeyi
    • 2
  • Rainald Löhner
    • 2
  • Ananthakrishna Sarma
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Atmospheric PhysicsScience Applications International CorporationMcleanU.S.A
  2. 2.School of Computational SciencesGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxU.S.A

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