Welcome to the DYNAMICO website

The DYNAMICO project develops a new dynamical core for LMD-Z, the atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) part of IPSL-CM Earth System Model.

LMDZ5, the current version of LMD-Z (, has a shallow-atmosphere, hydrostatic dynamical core. It is based on a latitude-longitude C-grid, a hybrid pressure-based terrain-following vertical coordinate, second-order enstrophy-conserving finite-difference discretization and positive-definite advection. Grid refinement is implemented as a continuous zoom via smooth grid stretching. An extensive package of physical paramererizations is coupled to the dynamical core. IPSL-CM is currently used to produce AR5 simulations. LMD-Z is also at the heart of GCMs of planetary atmospheres (Mars, Venus and Titan).

It is well-known that the latitude-longitude coordinates have a strong singularity at the poles which is undesirable in terms of both numerical stability and computational efficiency. Regular tesselations of the sphere such as a recursively subdivided icosahedron provide an almost-uniform grid and a path to highly parallel computations based on domain decomposition. LMD's logo is itself an icosahedron, evoking the pioneering work of Robert Sadourny on the use of icosahedral grids for solving the equations of atmospheric motion.

The primary goal of DYNAMICO is to re-formulate in LMD-Z the horizontal advection and dynamics on a icosahedral grid, while preserving or improving their qualities with respect to accuracy, conservation laws and wave dispersion. In turn, a new grid refinement strategy is required. A broader goal is to revisit all fundamental features of the dynamical core, especially the shallow-atmosphere/traditional approximation, the vertical coordinate and the coupling with physics. Efficient implementation on present and future supercomputing architectures is also a key issue addressed by DYNAMICO.

DYNAMICO is currently able to solve the hydrostatic primitive equations and participated to the DCMIP workshop held in August 2012 at NCAR. In the near future we will investigate its extension to deep-atmosphere and possibly non-hydrostatic equations following a variational approach that naturally conserves mass, energy and, in a somewhat restricted sense, potential vorticity. If you are not afraid of work-in-progress, you can browse our source code.

DYNAMICO is funded by the Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research, by IPSL and by the G8 Research Councils Initiative on Multilateral Research Funding, project ICOMEX.


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For a complete list of local wiki pages, see TitleIndex.



  • E. Kritsikis, M. Aechtner, Y. Meurdesoif, and T. Dubos Conservative interpolation between general spherical meshes Geosci. Mod. Dev.
  • T. Dubos, S. Dubey, M. Tort, R. Mittal, Y. Meurdesoif and F. Hourdin (2015) DYNAMICO, a hydrostatic icosahedral dynamical core designed for consistency and versatility Geosci. Mod. Dev.
  • S. Dubey, T. Dubos, F. Hourdin, H.C. Upadhyaya (2015) On the inter-comparison of two tracer transport schemes on icosahedral grids Applied Math. Mod. 39(16) 4828-4847 doi:10.1016/j.apm.2015.04.015
  • T. Dubos and M. Tort (2014) Equations of atmospheric motion in non-Eulerian vertical coordinates : vector-invariant form and Hamiltonian formulation Mon. Wea. Rev. 142(10) : 3860-3880
  • M. Tort, T. Dubos, V. Zeitlin and F. Bouchut (2014) Consistent shallow-water equations on the rotating sphere with complete Coriolis force and topography J. Fluid Mech. 748 : 789-821
  • M. Tort and T. Dubos (2014) Usual approximations to the equations of atmospheric motion : a variational perspective J. Atmos. Sci. 71(7) : 2452-2466 PDF
  • M. Tort and T. Dubos (2014) Dynamically consistent shallow-atmosphere equations with a complete Coriolis force Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc. PDF

Related publications

  • T.Dubos (2017) A covariant variational formulation of the equations of geophysical fluid motion in general coordinates. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc. doi:10.1002/qj.2942
  • M. Tort, T. Dubos and T. Melvin (2015) Energy-conserving finite-difference schemes for quasi-hydrostatic equations. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc.
  • Kevlahan, N. K.-R., Dubos, T., and Aechtner, M. (2015) Adaptive wavelet simulation of global ocean dynamics using a new Brinkman volume penalization Geosci. Model Dev., 8, 3891-3909 doi:10.5194/gmd-8-3891-2015
  • M. Aechtner, N. Kevlahan, T. Dubos (2015) A conservative adaptive wavelet method for the shallow water equations on the sphere. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc. 141(690) 1712-1726
  • T. Dubos and F. Voitus (2014) A semi-hydrostatic theory of gravity-dominated compressible flow J. Atmos. Sci. 71 (12) 4621-4638
  • J. Thuburn, C.J. Cotter, T. Dubos (2014) A mimetic, semi-implicit, forward-in-time, finite volume shallow water model : comparison of hexagonal-icosahedral and cubed sphere grids Geosci. Mod. Dev. 7 (3) : 909-929
  • T. Dubos and N. Kevlahan, (2013) An adaptive wavelet method for the shallow-water equations on a staggered grid conserving mass and vorticity. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc., 139: 1997-2020 PDF
Last modified 19 months ago Last modified on 11/13/20 11:38:17