A high order Godunov scheme with constrained transport and adaptive mesh refinement for astrophysical and geophysical MHD

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We propose to extend the well-known MUSCL-Hancock scheme for Euler equations to the induction equation modeling the magnetic field evolution in kinematic dynamo problems. The scheme is based on an integral form of the underlying conservation law which, in our formulation, results in a "finite-surface" scheme for the induction equation. This naturally leads to the well-known "constrained transport" method, with additional continuity requirement on the magnetic field representation. The second ingredient in the MUSCL scheme is the predictor step that ensures second order accuracy both in space and time. We explore specific constraints that the mathematical properties of the induction equations place on this predictor step, showing that three possible variants can be considered. We show that the most aggressive formulations reach the same level of accuracy than the other ones, at a lower computational cost. More interestingly, these schemes are compatible with the Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) framework. It has been implemented in the AMR code RAMSES. It offers a novel and efficient implementation of a second order scheme for the induction equation. The scheme is then adaptated to solve for the full MHD equations using the same methodology. Through a series of test problems, we illustrate the performances of this new code using two different MHD Riemann solvers (Lax-Friedrich and Roe) and the need of the Adaptive Mesh Refinement capabilities in some cases. Finally, we show its versatility by applying it to the ABC dynamo problem and to the collapse of a magnetized cloud core.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-225
Number of pages27
JournalGeophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


  • Adaptive mesh refinement
  • MHD flows
  • Methods
  • Numerical


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