An unstructured-mesh atmospheric model for nonhydrostatic dynamics: Towards optimal mesh resolution

Joanna Szmelter, Zhao Zhang, Piotr Smolarkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The paper advances the limited-area anelastic model (Smolarkiewicz et al. (2013) [45]) for investigation of nonhydrostatic dynamics in mesoscale atmospheric flows. New developments include the extension to a tetrahedral-based median-dual option for unstructured meshes and a static mesh adaptivity technique using an error indicator based on inherent properties of the Multidimensional Positive Definite Advection Transport Algorithm (MPDATA). The model employs semi-implicit nonoscillatory forward-in-time integrators for soundproof PDEs, built on MPDATA and a robust non-symmetric Krylov-subspace elliptic solver. Finite-volume spatial discretisation adopts an edge-based data structure. Simulations of stratified orographic flows and the associated gravity-wave phenomena in media with uniform and variable dispersive properties verify the advancement and demonstrate the potential of heterogeneous anisotropic discretisation with large variation in spatial resolution for study of complex stratified flows that can be computationally unattainable with regular grids.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-381
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • Unstructured mesh atmospheric models
  • Nonoscillatory forward-in-time schemes
  • Anelastic equations
  • Orographic flows
  • Critical layer


Dive into the research topics of 'An unstructured-mesh atmospheric model for nonhydrostatic dynamics: Towards optimal mesh resolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this