Variational Multiscale immersed boundary method for incompressible turbulent flows

Soonpil Kang, Arif Masud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents an immersed boundary method for weak enforcement of Dirichlet boundary conditions on surfaces that are immersed in the stationary background discretizations. An interface stabilized form is developed by applying the Variational Multiscale Discontinuous Galerkin (VMDG) method at the immersed boundaries. The formulation is augmented with a variationally derived ghost-penalty type term. The weak form of the momentum balance equations is embedded with a residual-based turbulence model for incompressible turbulent flows. A significant contribution in this work is the variationally derived analytical expression for the Lagrange multiplier for weak enforcement of the Dirichlet boundary conditions at the immersed boundary. In addition, the analytical expression for the interfacial stabilization tensor emerges which accounts for the geometric aspects of the cut elements that are produced when the immersed surface geometry traverses the underlying mesh. A unique attribute of the fine-scale variational equation is that it also yields a posteriori error estimator that can evaluate the local error in weak enforcement of the essential boundary conditions at the embedded boundaries. The method is shown to work with meshes comprised of hexahedral and tetrahedral elements. Numerical experiments show that the norm of the stabilization tensor varies spatially and temporally as a function of the flow physics at the embedded boundary. Test cases with increasing levels of complexity are presented to validate the method on benchmark problems of flows around cylindrical and spherical geometric shapes, and turbulent features of the flows are analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111523
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Nov 15 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Ghost penalty stabilization
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Large Eddy simulation
  • Variational Multiscale (VMS) method
  • Variational Multiscale Discontinuous Galerkin (VMDG) method
  • Weakly imposed Dirichlet boundary conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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