Articles | Volume 6, issue 4
Geosci. Model Dev., 6, 1095–1107, 2013
Geosci. Model Dev., 6, 1095–1107, 2013

Development and technical paper 31 Jul 2013

Development and technical paper | 31 Jul 2013

A hierarchical mesh refinement technique for global 3-D spherical mantle convection modelling

D. R. Davies1,2, J. H. Davies3, P. C. Bollada4, O. Hassan5, K. Morgan5, and P. Nithiarasu5 D. R. Davies et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College London, London, UK
  • 2Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • 3Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
  • 4Institute for Materials Research, Faculty of Engineering, Leeds University, Leeds, UK
  • 5Civil and Computational Engineering Centre, School of Engineering, Swansea University, Swansea, Wales, UK

Abstract. A method for incorporating multi-resolution capabilities within pre-existing global 3-D spherical mantle convection codes is presented. The method, which we term "geometric multigrid refinement", is based upon the application of a multigrid solver on non-uniform, structured grids and allows for the incorporation of local high-resolution grids within global models. Validation tests demonstrate that the method is accurate and robust, with highly efficient solutions to large-scale non-uniform problems obtained. Significantly, the scheme is conceptually simple and straightforward to implement, negating the need to reformulate and restructure large sections of code. Consequently, although more advanced techniques are under development at the frontiers of mesh refinement and solver technology research, the technique presented is capable of extending the lifetime and applicability of pre-existing global mantle convection codes.