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Application of modified Patankar schemes to stiff biogeochemical models for the water column
Burchard, H.; Deleersnijder, E.; Meister, A. (2005). Application of modified Patankar schemes to stiff biogeochemical models for the water column. Ocean Dynamics 55(3-4): 326-337
In: Ocean Dynamics. Springer-Verlag: Berlin; Heidelberg; New York. ISSN 1616-7341, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 103516 [ OMA ]

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Authors  Top 
  • Burchard, H.
  • Deleersnijder, E., more
  • Meister, A.

    In this paper, we apply recently developed positivity preserving and conservative Modified Patankar-type solvers for ordinary differential equations to a simple stiff biogeochemical model for the water column. The performance of this scheme is compared to schemes which are not unconditionally positivity preserving (the first-order Euler and the second- and fourth-order Runge Kutta schemes) and to schemes which are not conservative (the first- and second-order Patankar schemes). The biogeochemical model chosen as a test ground is a standard nutrient phytoplankton zooplankton detritus (NPZD) model, which has been made stiff by substantially decreasing the half saturation concentration for nutrients. For evaluating the stiffness of the biogeochemical model, so-called numerical time scales are defined which are obtained empirically by applying high-resolution numerical schemes. For all ODE solvers under investigation, the temporal error is analysed for a simple exponential decay law. The performance of all schemes is compared to a high-resolution high-order reference solution. As a result, the second-order modified Patankar Runge Kutta scheme gives a good agreement with the reference solution even for time steps 10 times longer than the shortest numerical time scale of the problem. Other schemes do either compute negative values for non-negative state variables (fully explicit schemes), violate conservation (the Patankar schemes) or show low accuracy (all first-order schemes).

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