Variable-Resolution Solvers for Multi-Scale Atmospheric Simulation

William Skamarock
National Center for Atmospheric Research

Only uniform-mesh atmospheric flow solvers have been used in production modeling systems for climate, regional climate and weather applications, with some notable exceptions such as hurricane modeling. Simulating the earth's atmospheric flow presents different challenges than those encountered in a number of aeronautical and astrophysical flow applications, where adaptive multi-resolution fluid-flow-solver technology has proven advantageous. The primary differences among these applications are the locality of the fine-scale structures needing resolution and the underlying fluid-system physics. We will discuss the obstacles confronting adaptive and static variable-resolution atmospheric simulation model development. Our ongoing model development efforts use variable-resolution unstructured Spherical Centriodal Voronoi Tesselations (SCVTs) of the sphere. We will present preliminary results with 3D hydrostatic and nonhydrostatic atmospheric solvers using this technology, and we will discuss where the variable-resolution capabilities of the unstructured meshes may prove advantageous in atmospheric prediction and research.

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