Modelling thermal convection with large viscosity gradients in one block of the 'cubed sphere'

Research areas:
Year:
2005
Authors:
Journal:
JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS
Volume:
205
Number:
1
Pages:
269-291
Month:
MAY 1
ISSN:
0021-9991
BibTex:
Abstract:
A numerical method solving thermal convection problems with variable viscosity in a spherical shell is presented. Several features of earlier programs solving the same problem in Cartesian geometry are adopted because of their efficiency and robustness: finite volume formulation, multigrid flow solver, parallel implementation. A recent composite mesh gridding technique for a spherical surface, termed the `cubed sphere', has proven to be successful in solving other partial differential equations in geophysical problems. It is used here because of its various advantages: absence of geometrical singularities, same metric on each block, simple coupling of adjacent blocks. In addition, it is a good tool to implement grid-based methods proven efficient in the Cartesian context since it provides a mesh reasonably close to uniform. Although as in the Cartesian case, convergence rates decrease with increasing viscosity gradients, global contrasts up to 10(6) are obtained at a reasonable cost. (c) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.