A General-Coordinate, Nonlocal Neutral Diffusion Operator
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A General-Coordinate, Nonlocal Neutral Diffusion Operator
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    Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 12(12)

Public Access Version Available on: May 05, 2021, 12:00 AM information icon
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  • Description:
    We present a neutral diffusion operator appropriate for an ocean model making use of general vertical coordinates. The diffusion scheme uses polynomial reconstructions in the vertical, along with a horizontally local but vertically nonlocal stencil for estimates of tracer fluxes. These fluxes are calculated on a vertical grid that is the superset of model columns in a neutral density space. Using flux-limiters, the algorithm dissipates tracer extrema locally, and no new extrema are created. A demonstration using a linear equation of state in an idealized configuration shows that the algorithm is perfectly neutral. When using the nonlinear TEOS-10 equation of state with a constant reference pressure, the algorithm compares nearly exactly to a case discretized onto isopycnal surfaces and using along-layer diffusion. The algorithm's cost is comparable to that of tracer advection and can be readily implemented into ocean general circulation models.
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