Investigating the effects of numerical algorithms on global magnetohydrodynamics simulations of solar wind in the inner heliosphere


  • L. A. de León Alanís Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León
  • José Juan González Avilés 4432274870
  • P. Riley Predictive Science Inc.
  • M. Ben-Nun Predictive Science Inc.



Solar wind; magnetohydrodynamics; numerical methods; heliosphere


This paper explores the effects of numerical algorithms on global magnetohydrodynamics simulations of solar wind (SW) in the inner heliosphere. To do so, we use sunRunner3D, a 3-D magnetohydrodynamics model that employs the boundary conditions generated by CORHEL and the PLUTO code to compute the plasma properties of the SW with the ideal magnetohydrodynamics approximation up to 1.1 AU in the inner heliosphere. Mainly, we define three different combinations of numerical algorithms based on their diffusion level. This diffusion level is related to the way of solving the magnetohydrodynamics equations using the finite volume formulation, and, therefore, we set in terms of the divergence-free condition methods, Riemann solvers, variable reconstruction schemes, limiters, and time-steeping algorithms. According to the simulation results, we demonstrate that sunRunner3D reproduces global features of Corotating Interaction Regions observed by Earth-based spacecraft for a set of Carrington rotations that cover a period that lays in the late declining phase of solar cycle 24, independently of the numerical algorithms. Moreover, statistical analyses between models and in-situ measurements show reasonable agreement with the observations, and remarkably, the high diffusive method matches better with in-situ data than low diffusive methods.

Author Biography

José Juan González Avilés, 4432274870

I obtained the Doctor of Science degree in Physics with an honorable mention from the “Instituto de Física y Matemáticas” of the “Universidad Michoacana San Nicolás de Hidalgo” in 2017. I spent two years as a postdoctoral research experience at the Institute of Geophysics, Michoacán Unit of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). My main research areas focus on implementing 3D numerical codes for solar magnetohydrodynamics and space weather studies. I worked as a CONAHCYT Research Fellow at the Mexico Space Weather Service (SCiESMEX), part of the National Space Weather Laboratory (LANCE) of the Institute of Geophysics, Michoacán Unit of the UNAM. I am an Assistant Professor at the School of Higher Studies, UNAM, in Morelia. In 2017, I received the Weizmann Prize for the best doctoral thesis in Exact Sciences in Mexico; Furthermore, I am level 1 of the National System of Researchers (SNI).


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How to Cite

L. A. de León Alanís, J. J. González Avilés, P. Riley, and M. Ben-Nun, “Investigating the effects of numerical algorithms on global magnetohydrodynamics simulations of solar wind in the inner heliosphere”, Rev. Mex. Fís., vol. 70, no. 3 May-Jun, pp. 031501 1–, May 2024.