Wave dispersion properties of compound finite elements
Journal of Computational Physics
Elsevier for Academic Press
Open Access funded by Natural Environment Research Council under a Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Mixed finite elements use different approximation spaces for different dependent variables. Certain classes of mixed finite elements, called compatible finite elements, have been shown to exhibit a number of desirable properties for a numerical weather prediction model. In two-dimensions the lowest order element of the Raviart-Thomas based mixed element is the finite element equivalent of the widely used C-grid staggering, which is known to possess good wave dispersion properties, at least for quadrilateral grids. It has recently been proposed that building compound elements from a number of triangular Raviart-Thomas sub-elements, such that both the primal and (implied) dual grid are constructed from the same sub-elements, would allow greater flexibility in the use of different advection schemes along with the ability to build arbitrary polygonal elements. Although the wave dispersion properties of the triangular sub-elements are well understood, those of the compound elements are unknown. It would be useful to know how they compare with the non- compound elements and what properties of the triangular sub-grid elements are inherited? Here a numerical dispersion analysis is presented for the linear shallow water equations in two dimensions discretised using the lowest order compound Raviart-Thomas finite elements on regular quadrilateral and hexagonal grids. It is found that, in comparison with the well known C-grid scheme, the compound elements exhibit a more isotropic dispersion relation, with a small over estimation of the frequency for short waves compared with the relatively large underestimation for the C-grid. On a quadrilateral grid the compound elements are found to differ from the non- compound Raviart-Thomas quadrilateral elements even for uniform elements, exhibiting the influence of the underlying sub-elements. This is shown to lead to small improvements in the accuracy of the dispersion relation: the compound quadrilateral element is slightly better for gravity waves but slightly worse for inertial waves than the standard lowest order Raviart-Thomas element.
The work of John Thuburn was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council under the 'Gung Ho' project (grant NE/1021136/1).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 338, pp. 68–90