MPAS Overview

The Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS) is a collaborative project for developing atmosphere, ocean and other earth-system simulation components for use in climate, regional climate and weather studies. The primary development partners are the climate modeling group at Los Alamos National Laboratory (COSIM) and  the National Center for Atmospheric Research.  Both primary partners are responsible for the MPAS framework, operators and tools common to the applications; LANL has primary responsibility for the ocean and land ice models, and NCAR has primary responsibility for the atmospheric model.

The defining features of MPAS are the unstructured Voronoi meshes and C-grid discretization used as the basis for many of the model components.  The unstructured Voronoi meshes, formally Spherical Centriodal Voronoi Tesselations (SCVTs), allow for both quasi-uniform discretization of the sphere and local refinement.  The C-grid discretization, where the normal component of velocity on cell edges is prognosed, is especially well-suited for higher-resolution, mesoscale atmosphere and ocean simulations. The land ice model takes advantage of the SCVT-dual mesh, which is a triangular Delaunay tessellation appropriate for use with Finite-Element-based discretizations.

The current MPAS release is version 5.0. Please refer to each core for changes, and the github repository for source.