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Guest Chris Nielsen

First or Second Order Spatial Scheme

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Guest Chris Nielsen

Higher order spatial schemes will produce more accurate results in the vicinity of sharp gradients due to reduced numerical diffusion, however they will be more prone to developing instabilities and are more computationally expensive. The first-order schemes assume a piecewise constant value of the modelled variables in each cell, whereas the second-order schemes perform a linear reconstruction.



As a general rule of thumb, initial model development should be undertaken using low-order schemes, with higher-order spatial schemes tested during the latter stages of development. If a significant difference is observed between low-order and high-order results then the high-order solution is probably necessary, or alternatively further mesh refinement is required. 



Second order spatial accuracy will typically be required in the vertical direction when trying to resolve sharp stratification.

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