A stable discontinuous Galerkin method for linear elastodynamics in 3D geometrically complex elastic solids using physics based numerical fluxes

Kenneth Duru, Leonhard Rannabauer, Alice-Agnes Gabriel, On Ki Angel Ling, Heiner Igel, Michael Bader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Time-stable, high order accurate and explicit numerical methods are effective for hyperbolic wave propagation problems. As a result of the complexities of real geometries, internal interfaces and nonlinear boundary and interface conditions, discontinuities and sharp wave fronts may become fundamental features of the solution. Therefore, geometrically flexible and adaptive numerical algorithms are crucial for high fidelity and efficient simulations of wave phenomena in many applications. Adaptive curvilinear meshes hold promise to minimise the effort to represent complicated geometries or heterogeneous material data avoiding the bottleneck of feature-preserving meshing. To enable the design of stable DG methods on three space dimensional (3D) curvilinear elements we construct a structure preserving skew-symmetric coordinate transformation motivated by the underlying physics. Using a physics-based numerical penalty-flux, we develop a 3D provably energy-stable discontinuous Galerkin finite element approximation of the elastic wave equation in geometrically complex and heterogeneous media. By construction, our numerical flux is upwind and yields a discrete energy estimate analogous to the continuous energy estimate. The ability to treat conforming and non-conforming curvilinear elements allows for flexible adaptive mesh refinement strategies. The numerical scheme has been implemented in ExaHyPE, a simulation engine for parallel dynamically adaptive simulations of wave problems on adaptive Cartesian meshes. We present 3D numerical experiments of wave propagation in heterogeneous isotropic and anisotropic elastic solids demonstrating stability and high order accuracy. We demonstrate the potential of our approach for computational seismology in a regional wave propagation scenario in a geologically constrained 3D model including the geometrically complex free-surface topography of Mount Zugspitze, Germany.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114386
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
StatePublished - Dec 10 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computational Mechanics
  • Computer Science Applications


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