Course title:Topics in Modeling Planetary Interiors
Course number: EART 290x
Instructor: Gary A Glatzmaier
Text: "Introduction to Modeling Convection in Planets and Stars" by G.A. Glatzmaier (a pdf copy will be provided)
This is an introduction to writing computer codes to simulate thermal convection and internal gravity waves in planetary interiors. The resulting codes could be used to study the fluid dynamics of the atmospheres, oceans, mantles and liquid cores of terrestrial planets, like the Earth, and the deep interiors of giant gaseous planets, like Jupiter. The codes could also be adapted to study the interiors of stars. Students first learn how to write and run a basic computer code that simulates two-dimensional thermal convection using spectral and finite-difference methods and an explicit time integration scheme. They also learn how to post-process and analyze their simulated results using computer graphics, including movies. They then are shown how to improve the numerical method and physics of their codes. The lectures for the first four weeks of the course will cover the following topics.
Week 1: Equations and numerical method for the basic convection model in a 2D box
Week 2: The thermal convection stability problem
Week 3: Nonlinear thermal convection and gravity wave simulations
Week 4: Post-processing, graphics, movies
The lectures for the following six weeks will cover some subset of the following topics, depending on the current group of students.
Higher-order and semi-implicit time integration schemes
Different spatial discretization methods
Different boundary conditions and curvilinear geometry
Spectral transform method for computing nonlinear terms
More realistic physics:
Infinite Prandtl Number (mantle convection)
Compressibility (sound waves)
Required: basic computer programming experience in, for example, Fortran, C, IDL or Matlab. This course is designed for graduate students but is available to qualified science majors. It may be repeated for credit.
Student Evaluations: based on the quality of the codes written.