Volume 98, Issue B5 p. 8243-8260
Papers on Geodesy and Gravity Tectonophysics

A numerical treatment of geodynamic viscous flow problems involving the advection of material interfaces

First published: 10 May 1993
Citations: 56


Effective numerical treatment of multicomponent viscous flow problems involving the advection of sharp interfaces between materials of differing physical properties requires correction techniques to prevent spurious diffusion and dispersion. We develop a particular algorithm, based on modern shock-capture techniques, employing a two-step nonlinear method. The first step involves the global application of a high-order upwind scheme to a hyperbolic advection equation used to model the distribution of distinct material components in a flow field. The second step is corrective and involves the application of a global filter designed to remove dispersion errors that result from the advection of discontinuities (e.g., material interfaces) by high-order, minimally dissipative schemes. The filter introduces no additional diffusion error. Nonuniform viscosity across a material interface is allowed for by the implementation of a compositionally weighted-inverse interface viscosity scheme. The combined method approaches the optimal accuracy of modern shock-capture techniques with a minimal increase in computational time and memory. A key advantage of this method is its simplicity to incorporate into preexisting codes be they finite difference, element, or volume of two or three dimensions.