Atmospheres & Climate

ExoCubed: A Riemann-Solver Based Cubed-Sphere Dynamic Core For Planetary Atmospheres

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
March 12, 2024
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ExoCubed: A Riemann-Solver Based Cubed-Sphere Dynamic Core For Planetary Atmospheres
The flow height field at day 40 (left column), day 80 (middle column), and day 100 (right column) for resolutions C48 to C192. — astro-ph.EP

The computational fluid dynamics on a sphere is relevant to global simulations of geophysical fluid dynamics. Using the conventional spherical-polar (or lat-lon) grid results in a singularity at the poles, with orders of magnitude smaller cell sizes at the poles in comparison to the equator. To address this problem, we developed a general circulation model (dynamic core) with a gnomonic equiangular cubed-sphere configuration.

This model is developed based on the Simulating Nonhydrostatic Atmospheres on Planets (SNAP) model, using a finite volume numerical scheme with a Riemann-solver-based dynamic core and the vertical implicit correction (VIC) scheme. This change of the horizontal configuration gives a 20-time acceleration of global simulations compared to the lat-lon grid with a similar number of cells at medium resolution.

We presented standard tests ranging from 2D shallow-water models to 3D general circulation tests, including earth-like planets and shallow hot Jupiters, to validate the accuracy of the model. The method described in this article is generic to transform any existing finite-volume hydrodynamic model in the Cartesian geometry to the spherical geometry.

Sihe Chen, Cheng Li

Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (
Cite as: arXiv:2403.06844 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2403.06844v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Sihe Chen
[v1] Mon, 11 Mar 2024 16:03:35 UTC (14,210 KB)
Astrobiology, Astrochemistry,

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻