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Keywords:

  • cut-cell;
  • orography;
  • numerical methods;
  • idealized simulations;
  • high resolution;
  • finite volume

Abstract

Several tests of a model with a cut-cell representation of orography are presented: a resting atmosphere test, advection across a hill and a warm rising bubble over hills with different gradients. The tests are compared with results from terrain-following models. Results indicate that errors associated with terrain-following coordinates are reduced, in some cases greatly reduced, with the cut-cell approach. In a resting atmosphere, the cut-cell approach does not generate flow around an isolated hill however steep the terrain. Relative errors in a rising bubble test are an order of magnitude smaller than terrain-following simulations.