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Implementation and application of adaptive mesh refinement for thermochemical mantle convection studies

Leng, Wei and Zhong, Shijie (2011) Implementation and application of adaptive mesh refinement for thermochemical mantle convection studies. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 12 . Art. No. Q04006 . ISSN 1525‐2027.

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Numerical modeling of mantle convection is challenging. Owing to the multiscale nature of mantle dynamics, high resolution is often required in localized regions, with coarser resolution being sufficient elsewhere. When investigating thermochemical mantle convection, high resolution is required to resolve sharp and often discontinuous boundaries between distinct chemical components. In this paper, we present a 2-D finite element code with adaptive mesh refinement techniques for simulating compressible thermochemical mantle convection. By comparing model predictions with a range of analytical and previously published benchmark solutions, we demonstrate the accuracy of our code. By refining and coarsening the mesh according to certain criteria and dynamically adjusting the number of particles in each element, our code can simulate such problems efficiently, dramatically reducing the computational requirements (in terms of memory and CPU time) when compared to a fixed, uniform mesh simulation. The resolving capabilities of the technique are further highlighted by examining plume‐induced entrainment in a thermochemical mantle convection simulation.

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Additional Information:© 2011 American Geophysical Union. Received 2 November 2010; Revised 4 March 2011; Accepted 9 March 2011; Published 15 April 2011. We thank Georg Stadler for his technical help and suggestive comments and Peter van Keken for providing the benchmark data of the Rayleigh-Taylor problem. We also thank Rhodri Davies and Dave May for their constructive and detailed reviews that significantly improved this paper. This study is supported by National Science Foundation OCI-0749045 and David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
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David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:adaptive mesh refinement; mantle convection; thermochemical
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110502-094514347
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Official Citation:Leng, W., and S. Zhong (2011), Implementation and application of adaptive mesh refinement for thermochemical mantle convection studies, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 12, Q04006, doi:10.1029/2010GC003425
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23514
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 May 2011 21:06
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 02:47

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