A study of spectral element and discontinuous Galerkin methods for the Navier-Stokes equations in nonhydrostatic mesoscale atmospheric modeling: Equation sets and test cases
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We present spectral element (SE) and discontinuous Galerkin (DG) solutions of the Euler and compressible Navier– Stokes (NS) equations for stratified fluid flow which are of importance in nonhydrostatic mesoscale atmospheric modeling. We study three different forms of the governing equations using seven test cases. Three test cases involve flow over mountains which require the implementation of non-reflecting boundary conditions, while one test requires viscous terms (density current). Including viscous stresses into finite difference, finite element, or spectral element models poses no additional challenges; however, including these terms to either finite volume or discontinuous Galerkin models requires the introduction of additional machinery because these methods were originally designed for first-order operators. We use the local discontinuous Galerkin method to overcome this obstacle. The seven test cases show that all of our models yield good results. The main conclusion is that equation set 1 (non-conservation form) does not perform as well as sets 2 and 3 (conservation forms). For the density current (viscous), the SE and DG models using set 3 (mass and total energy) give less dissipative results than the other equation sets; based on these results we recommend set 3 for the development of future multiscale research codes. In addition, the fact that set 3 conserves both mass and energy up to machine precision motives us to pursue this equation set for the development of future mesoscale models. For the bubble and mountain tests, the DG models performed better. Based on these results and due to its conservation properties we recommend the DG method. In the worst case scenario, the DG models are 50% slower than the non-conservative SE models. In the best case scenario, the DG models are just as efficient as the conservative SE models.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcp.2007.12.009