We present a spectral element model to solve the hydrostatic primitive equations governing large-scale geophysical flows. The highlights of this new model include unstructured grids, dual h-p paths to convergence, and good scalability characteristics on present day parallel computers including Beowulf-class systems. The behavior of the model is assessed on three process-oriented test problems involving wave propagation, gravitational adjustment, and nonlinear flow rectification, respectively. The first of these test problems is a study of the convergence properties of the model when simulating the linear propagation of baroclinic Kelvin waves. The second is an intercomparison of spectral element and finite-difference model solutions to the adjustment of a density front in a straight channel. Finally, the third problem considers the comparison of model results to measurements obtained from a laboratory simulation of flow around a submarine canyon. The aforementioned tests demonstrate the good performance of the model in the idealized/process-oriented limits.
- Hydrostatic primitive equations
- Ocean model
- Spectral element
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications
- Physics and Astronomy(all)