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The PLUTO code for adaptive mesh computations in astrophysical fluid dynamics


We present a description of the adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) implementation of the PLUTO code for solving the equations of classical and special relativistic magnetohydrodynamics (MHD and RMHD). The current release exploits, in addition to the static grid version of the code, the distributed infrastructure of the CHOMBO library for multidimensional parallel computations over block-structured, adaptively refined grids. We employ a conservative finite-volume approach where primary flow quantities are discretized at the cell center in a dimensionally unsplit fashion using the Corner Transport Upwind method. Time stepping relies on a characteristic tracing step where piecewise parabolic method, weighted essentially non-oscillatory, or slope-limited linear interpolation schemes can be handily adopted. A characteristic decomposition-free version of the scheme is also illustrated. The solenoidal condition of the magnetic field is enforced by augmenting the equations with a generalized Lagrange multiplier providing propagation and damping of divergence errors through a mixed hyperbolic/parabolic explicit cleaning step. Among the novel features, we describe an extension of the scheme to include non-ideal dissipative processes, such as viscosity, resistivity, and anisotropic thermal conduction without operator splitting. Finally, we illustrate an efficient treatment of point-local, potentially stiff source terms over hierarchical nested grids by taking advantage of the adaptivity in time. Several multidimensional benchmarks and applications to problems of astrophysical relevance assess the potentiality of the AMR version of PLUTO in resolving flow features separated by large spatial and temporal disparities. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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