Testing hydrodynamics schemes in galaxy disc simulations
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Oxford University Press
This is the final version of the article. Available from Oxford University Press via the DOI in this record.
© 2016 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.We examine how three fundamentally different numerical hydrodynamics codes follow the evolution of an isothermal galactic disc with an external spiral potential. We compare an adaptive mesh refinement code (RAMSES), a smoothed particle hydrodynamics code (SPHNG), and a volume-discretized mesh-less code (GIZMO). Using standard refinement criteria, we find that ramses produces a disc that is less vertically concentrated and does not reach such high densities as the SPHNG or GIZMO runs. The gas surface density in the spiral arms increases at a lower rate for the ramses simulations compared to the other codes. There is also a greater degree of substructure in the SPHNG and GIZMO runs and secondary spiral arms are more pronounced. By resolving the Jeans length with a greater number of grid cells, we achieve more similar results to the Lagrangian codes used in this study. Other alterations to the refinement scheme (adding extra levels of refinement and refining based on local density gradients) are less successful in reducing the disparity between ramses and SPHNG/GIZMO. Although more similar, SPHNG displays different density distributions and vertical mass profiles to all modes of GIZMO (including the smoothed particle hydrodynamics version). This suggests differences also arise which are not intrinsic to the particular method but rather due to its implementation. The discrepancies between codes (in particular, the densities reached in the spiral arms) could potentially result in differences in the locations and time-scales for gravitational collapse, and therefore impact star formation activity in more complex galaxy disc simulations.
CGF, CLD and LK acknowledges funding from the European Research Council for the FP7 ERC starting grant project LOCALSTAR. We thank the anonymous referee for a very constructive report. Thiswork used theDiRACComplexity system, operated by the University of Leicester IT Services, which forms part of the STFC DiRAC HPC Facility (www.dirac.ac.uk). This equipment is funded by BIS National E-Infrastructure capital grant ST/K000373/1 and STFC DiRAC Operations grant ST/K0003259/1. DiRAC is part of the National E-Infrastructure. Calculations were also performed on Cray XC30 at the Center for Computational Astrophysics, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.
Vol. 460, Iss. 4, pp. 4382 - 4396