We present a general procedure to solve numerically the general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics (GRMHD) equations within the framework of the 3+1 formalism. The work reported here extends our previous investigation in general relativistic hydrodynamics (Banyuls et al. 1997) where magnetic fields were not considered. The GRMHD equations are written in conservative form to exploit their hyperbolic character in the solution procedure. All theoretical ingredients necessary to build up high-resolution shock-capturing schemes based on the solution of local Riemann problems (i.e., Godunov-type schemes) are described. In particular, we use a renormalized set of regular eigenvectors of the flux Jacobians of the relativistic MHD equations. In addition, the paper describes a procedure based on the equivalence principle of general relativity that allows the use of Riemann solvers designed for special relativistic MHD in GRMHD. Our formulation and numerical methodology are assessed by performing various test simulations recently considered by different authors. These include magnetized shock tubes, spherical accretion onto a Schwarzschild black hole, equatorial accretion onto a Kerr black hole, and magnetized thick disks accreting onto a black hole and subject to the magnetorotational instability.
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