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Divergence-free adaptive mesh refinement for magnetohydrodynamics. (English) Zbl 1157.76369
Summary: Several physical systems, such as nonrelativistic and relativistic magnetohydrodynamics (MHD), radiation MHD, electromagnetics, and incompressible hydrodynamics, satisfy Stoke’s law type equations for the divergence-free evolution of vector fields. In this paper we present a full-fledged scheme for the second-order accurate, divergence-free evolution of vector fields on an adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) hierarchy. We focus here on adaptive mesh MHD. However, the scheme has applicability to the other systems of equations mentioned above. The scheme is based on making a significant advance in the divergence-free reconstruction of vector fields. In that sense, it complements the earlier work of D. S. Balsara and D. S. Spicer [J. Comput. Phys. 149, No. 2, 270–292 (1999; Zbl 0936.76051); erratum ibid. 153, 671 (1999)] where we discussed the divergence-free time-update of vector fields which satisfy Stokes’ law type evolution equations. Our advance in divergence-free reconstruction of vector fields is such that it reduces to the total variation diminishing (TVD) property for one-dimensional evolution and yet goes beyond it in multiple dimensions. For that reason, it is extremely suitable for the construction of higher order Godunov schemes for MHD. Both the two-dimensional and three-dimensional reconstruction strategies are developed. A slight extension of the divergence-free reconstruction procedure yields a divergence-free prolongation strategy for prolonging magnetic fields on AMR hierarchies. Divergence-free restriction is also discussed. Because our work is based on an integral formulation, divergence-free restriction and prolongation can be carried out on AMR meshes with any integral refinement ratio, though we specialize the expressions for the most popular situation where the refinement ratio is two. Furthermore, we pay attention to the fact that in order to efficiently evolve the MHD equations on AMR hierarchies, the refined meshes must evolve in time with time steps that are a fraction of their parent mesh’s time step. An electric field correction strategy is presented for use on AMR meshes. The electric field correction strategy helps preserve the divergence-free evolution of the magnetic field even when the time steps are subcycled on refined meshes. The above-mentioned innovations have been implemented in Balsara’s RIEMANN framework for parallel, self-adaptive computational astrophysics, which supports both nonrelativistic and relativistic MHD. Several rigorous, three-dimensional AMR-MHD test problems with strong discontinuities have been run with the RIEMANN framework showing that the strategy works very well. In our AMR-MHD scheme, the adaptive mesh hierarchy can change in response to discontinuities that move rapidly with respect to the mesh. Time-step subcycling permits efficient processing of the AMR hierarchy. Our AMR-MHD scheme parallelizes very well as shown by D. S. Balsara and C. D. Norton [Parallel Comput. 27, No. 1–2, 37–70 (2001; Zbl 0971.68017)].

76M20 Finite difference methods applied to problems in fluid mechanics
76M12 Finite volume methods applied to problems in fluid mechanics
76W05 Magnetohydrodynamics and electrohydrodynamics
Full Text: DOI
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