Volume 490, Number 3, November II 2008
|Page(s)||1181 - 1195|
|Section||Numerical methods and codes|
|Published online||01 October 2008|
A two-column formalism for time-dependent modelling of stellar convection
I. Description of the method
CRAL, Université de Lyon, CNRS (UMR5574), École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 69007 Lyon, France e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 23 August 2008
Context. In spite of all the advances in multi-dimensional hydrodynamics, investigations of stellar evolution and stellar pulsations still depend on one-dimensional computations. This paper devises an alternative to the mixing-length theory or turbulence models usually adopted in modelling convective transport in such studies.
Aims. The present work attempts to develop a time-dependent description of convection, which reflects the essential physics of convection and that is only moderately dependent on numerical parameters and far less time consuming than existing multi-dimensional hydrodynamics computations.
Methods. Assuming that the most extensive convective patterns generate the majority of convective transport, the convective velocity field is described using two parallel, radial columns to represent up- and downstream flows. Horizontal exchange, in the form of fluid flow and radiation, over their connecting interface couples the two columns and allows a simple circulating motion. The main parameters of this convective description have straightforward geometrical meanings, namely the diameter of the columns (corresponding to the size of the convective cells) and the ratio of the cross-section between up- and downdrafts. For this geometrical setup, the time-dependent solution of the equations of radiation hydrodynamics is computed from an implicit scheme that has the advantage of being unaffected by the Courant-Friedrichs-Lewy time-step limit. This implementation is part of the TAPIR-Code (short for The adaptive, implicit RHD-Code).
Results. To demonstrate the approach, results for convection zones in Cepheids are presented. The convective energy transport and convective velocities agree with expectations for Cepheids and the scheme reproduces both the kinetic energy flux and convective overshoot. A study of the parameter influence shows that the type of solution derived for these stars is in fact fairly robust with respect to the constitutive numerical parameters.
Key words: hydrodynamics / Cepheids / convection / methods: numerical
© ESO, 2008
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