An Adaptive MHD Method for Global Space Weather Simulations

D.L. De Zeeuw, T.I. Gombosi, Clinton P.T. Groth, Kenneth G. Powell, Q F. Stout
Center for Space Environment Modeling
University of Michigan

Abstract: A 3-D parallel adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) scheme is described for solving the partial-differential equations governing ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) flows. This new algorithm adopts a cell-centered upwind finite-volume discretization procedure and uses limited solution reconstruction, approximate Riemann solvers, and explicit multi-stage time stepping to solve the MHD equations in divergence form, providing a combination of high solution accuracy and computational robustness across a large range in the plasma beta (beta is the ratio of thermal and magnetic pressures). The data structure naturally lends itself to domain decomposition, thereby enabling efficient and scalable implementations on massively parallel supercomputers. Numerical results for MHD simulations of magnetospheric plasma flows are described to demonstrate the validity and capabilities of the approach for space weather applications.

Keywords: high performance computing, parallel computing, supercomputing, adaptive blocks, adaptive mesh refinement, Cartesian adaptive grid, space weather, space physics, computer science

Complete paper. This paper appears in IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science 28 (2000), pp. 1956-1965. IEEE digitized tpaper and made it available.

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