A Low Communication and Large Time Step Explicit Finite-Volume Solver for Non-Hydrostatic Atmospheric Dynamics

Matthew Norman, North Carolina State University

An explicit finite-volume solver is proposed for numerical simulation of non-hydrostatic atmospheric dynamics with promise for efficiency on massively parallel machines via low communication needs and large time steps. Solving the governing equations with a single stage lowers communication, and using the method of characteristics to follow information as it propagates enables large time steps. Using a non-oscillatory interpolant, the method is stable without post-hoc filtering. Characteristic variables (built from interface flux vectors) are integrated upstream from interfaces along their trajectories to compute time-averaged fluxes over a time step. Thus we call this method a Flux-Based Characteristic Semi-Lagrangian (FBCSL) method. Multidimensionality is achieved via a second-order-accurate Strang operator splitting. Spatial accuracy is achieved via the third- to fifth-order-accurate Weighted Essentially Non-Oscillatory (WENO) interpolant.

We implement the theory to form a 2-D non-hydrostatic compressible (Euler system) atmospheric model in which standard test cases confirm accuracy and stability. We maintain stability with time steps larger than CFL=1 but note that accuracy degrades unacceptably for most case with CFL > 2. For the smoothest test case, we ran out to CFL=7 to investigate the error associated with simulation at large CFL time steps. Analysis suggests improvement of trajectory computations will improve error for large CFL numbers.

Abstract Author(s): Matthew R. Norman, Ramachandran D. Nair, Fredrick H. M. Semazzi