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The Use of the Finite Element Method in Meteorological Modelling.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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The finite element method may relieve some of the problems associated with numerical modelling of the atmosphere. The method reduces the problem of nonlinear computational instability, allows arbitrary placement of grid points, and offers greater flexibility in the handling of boundary conditions. In addition, the finite element method has been shown to be more accurate for some types of problems. This research concentrates on the ability of the finite element method to serve as the means of solving the equations which describe flow in the atmosphere and provides answers as to the type of finite element approximation best suited for meteorological research. Five different finite elements using both linear and quadratic interpolation are tested in the space domain. Several time differencing schemes are also tested with the elements in order to determine the most accurate and efficient configuration. In addition, the concepts of lumped and consistent mass are examined and tested as well as alternative methods of handling the computer implementation of the method.
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