Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Parallel-in-time multi-level integration of the shallow-water equations on the rotating sphere


The modeling of atmospheric processes in the context of weather and climate simulations is an important and computationally expensive challenge. The temporal integration of the underlying PDEs requires a very large number of time steps, even when the terms accounting for the propagation of fast atmospheric waves are treated implicitly. Therefore, the use of parallel-in-time integration schemes to reduce the time-to-solution is of increasing interest, particularly in the numerical weather forecasting field. We present a multi-level parallel-in-time integration method combining the Parallel Full Approximation Scheme in Space and Time (PFASST) with a spatial discretization based on Spherical Harmonics (SH). The iterative algorithm computes multiple time steps concurrently by interweaving parallel high-order fine corrections and serial corrections performed on a coarsened problem. To do that, we design a methodology relying on the spectral basis of the SH to coarsen and interpolate the problem in space. The methods are evaluated on the shallow-water equations on the sphere using a set of tests commonly used in the atmospheric flow community. We assess the convergence of PFASST-SH upon refinement in time. We also investigate the impact of the coarsening strategy on the accuracy of the scheme, and specifically on its ability to capture the high-frequency modes accumulating in the solution. Finally, we study the computational cost of PFASST-SH to demonstrate that our scheme resolves the main features of the solution multiple times faster than the serial schemes.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View