A mixed mimetic spectral element model of the 3D compressible Euler equations on the cubed sphere

D. Lee, A. Palha

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A model of the three-dimensional rotating compressible Euler equations on the cubed sphere is presented. The model uses a mixed mimetic spectral element discretization which allows for the exact exchanges of kinetic, internal and potential energy via the compatibility properties of the chosen function spaces. A Strang carryover dimensional splitting procedure is used, with the horizontal dynamics solved explicitly and the vertical dynamics solved implicitly so as to avoid the CFL restriction of the vertical sound waves. The function spaces used to represent the horizontal dynamics are discontinuous across vertical element boundaries, such that each horizontal layer is solved independently so as to avoid the need to invert a global 3D mass matrix, while the function spaces used to represent the vertical dynamics are similarly discontinuous across horizontal element boundaries, allowing for the serial solution of the vertical dynamics independently for each horizontal element. The model is validated against standard test cases for baroclinic instability within an otherwise hydrostatically and geostrophically balanced atmosphere, and a non-hydrostatic gravity wave as driven by a temperature perturbation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108993
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2020


  • Cubed sphere
  • Euler equations
  • Horizontally explicit/vertically implicit
  • Mimetic
  • Spectral element

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