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Title: The extension of a non-hydrostatic dynamical core into the thermosphere
Author: Griffin, Daniel Joe
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 3612
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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The non-hydrostatic dynamical core ENDGame (Even Newer Dynamics for the General Atmospheric Modelling of the Environment) is extended into the thermosphere to test its feasability as a whole-atmosphere dynamical core that can simulate the large scale fluid dynamics of the whole atmosphere from the surface to the top of the thermosphere at 600km. This research may have applications in the development of a Sun-to-Earth modelling system involving the Met Office Unified Model, which will be useful for space weather forecasting and chemical climate modelling. Initial attempts to raise the top boundary of ENDGame above ∼100km give rise to instabilities. To explore the potential causes of these instabilities, a one dimensional column version of ENDGame: ENDGame1D, is developed to study the effects of vertically propagating acoustic waves in the dynamical core. A 2D ray-tracing scheme is also developed, which accounts for the numerical effects on wave propagation. It is found that ENDGame’s numerics have a tendency towards the excessive focussing of wave energy towards vertical propagation, and have poor handling of large amplitude waves, also being unable to handle shocks. A key finding is that the physical processes of vertical molecular viscosity and diffusion prevent the excessive growth of wave amplitudes in the thermosphere in ENDGame, which may be crucial to improving ENDGame’s stability as it is extended upwards. Therefore, a fully implicit-in-time implementation of vertical molecular viscosity and diffusion is developed in both ENDGame1D and the full three-dimensional version of ENDGame: ENDGame3D. A new scheme is developed to deal with the viscous and diffusive terms with the dynamics terms in a fully coupled way to avoid time-splitting errors that may arise. The combination of a small amount of off-centring of ENDGame’s semi-implicit formulation and the inclusion of vertical molecular viscosity and diffusion act to make ENDGame significantly more stable, as long as the simulation is able to remain stable up to the molecularly diffused region above an altitude of ∼130km.
Supervisor: Thuburn, John Sponsor: EPSRC ; NERC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: ray tracing ; numerical modelling ; numerical wave propagation ; thermosphere ; whole atmosphere modelling ; space weather ; non-hydrostatic ; molecular viscosity and diffusion ; ENDGame ; acoustic wave ; semi-implicit semi-Lagrangian