A divergence-free upwind code for multidimensional magnetohydrodynamic flows

Dongsu Ryu, Francesco Miniati, T. W. Jones, Adam Frank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


A description is given for preserving V · B = 0 in a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code that employs the upwind, total variation diminishing (TVD) scheme and Strang type operator splitting for multidimensionality. The method is based on the staggered mesh technique to constrain the transport of magnetic field: the magnetic field components are defined at grid interfaces with their advective fluxes on grid edges, while other quantities are defined at grid centers. The magnetic field at grid centers for the upwind step is calculated by interpolating the values from grid interfaces. The advective fluxes on grid edges for the magnetic field evolution are calculated from the upwind fluxes at grid interfaces. Then the magnetic field can be maintained with V · B = 0 exactly, if this is so initially, while the upwind scheme is used for the update of fluid quantities. The correctness of the code is demonstrated through tests comparing numerical solutions either with analytic solutions or with numerical solutions from a code using an explicit divergence-cleaning method. Also, the robustness is shown through tests involving realistic astrophysical problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-255
Number of pages12
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART I
StatePublished - 1998


  • MHD
  • Methods: numerical


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