• area remapping;
  • consistent tracer transport;
  • Helmholtz problem;
  • nonlinear transport;
  • reference profile


In a recent paper, a conservative semi-Lagrangian mass transport scheme SLICE has been coupled to a semi-implicit semi-Lagrangian scheme for the shallow-water equations. The algorithm involves the solution at each timestep of a nonlinear Helmholtz problem, which is achieved by iterative solution of a linear ‘inner’ Helmholtz problem; this framework, as well as the linear Helmholtz operator itself, are the same as would be used with a non-conservative interpolating semi-Lagrangian scheme for mass transport. However, in order to do this, a reference value of geopotential was introduced into the discretization. It is shown here that this results in a weak dependence of the results on that reference value. An alternative coupling is therefore proposed that preserves the same solution framework and linear Helmholtz operator but, at convergence of the nonlinear solver, has no dependence on the reference value. However, in order to maintain accuracy at large timesteps, this approach requires a modification to how SLICE performs its remapping. An advantage of removing the dependence on the reference value is that the scheme then gives consistent tracer transport. Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society and Crown Copyright. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.