A Characteristic-Based Spectral Element Method for Moving-Domain Problems

Saumil Patel, Paul Fischer, Misun Min, Ananias Tomboulides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we present a characteristic-based numerical procedure for simulating incompressible flows in domains with moving boundaries. Our approach utilizes an operator-integration-factor splitting technique to help produce an efficient and stable numerical scheme. Using the spectral element method and an arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian formulation, we investigate flows where the convective acceleration effects are non-negligible. Several examples, ranging from laminar to turbulent flows, are considered. Comparisons with a standard, semi-implicit time-stepping procedure illustrate the improved performance of our scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-592
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Scientific Computing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019


  • Arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian methods
  • Characteristics
  • In-cylinder engine flows
  • Navier–Stokes equations
  • Operator- integration-factor splitting
  • Spectral element method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Numerical Analysis
  • General Engineering
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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