A level set characteristic Galerkin finite element method for free surface flows

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Peer Reviewed


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Journal/Book/Conference Title

International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids

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End Page



This paper presents a numerical method for free surface flows that couples the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations with the level set method in the finite element framework. The implicit characteristic-Galerkin approximation together with the fractional four-step algorithm is employed to discretize the governing equations. The schemes for solving the level set evolution and reinitialization equations are verified with several benchmark cases, including stationary circle, rotation of a slotted disk and stretching of a circular fluid element. The results are compared with those calculated from the level set finite volume method of Yue et al. (Int. J. Numer. Methods Fluids 2003; 42:853-884), which employed the third-order essentially non-oscillatory (ENO) schemes for advection of the level set function in a generalized curvilinear coordinate system. The comparison indicates that the characteristic Galerkin approximation of the level set equations yields more accurate solutions. The second-order accuracy of the Navier-Stokes solver is confirmed by simulation of decay vortex. The coupled system of the Navier-Stokes and level set equations then is validated by solitary wave and broken dam problems. The simulation results are in excellent agreement with experimental data. Copyright 2005 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.


Sustainability, Computational fluid dynamics, Algorithms, Approximation theory, Dams, Finite element method, Finite volume method, Galerkin methods, Mathematical models, Navier Stokes equations, Problem solving, Vortex flow

Published Article/Book Citation

International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, 49:5 (2005) pp.521-547.

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