Journal of Scientific Computing

, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 830–858 | Cite as

Divergence-Free H(div)-FEM for Time-Dependent Incompressible Flows with Applications to High Reynolds Number Vortex Dynamics

  • Philipp W. Schroeder
  • Gert Lube


In this article, we consider exactly divergence-free H(div)-conforming finite element methods for time-dependent incompressible viscous flow problems. This is an extension of previous research concerning divergence-free \(H^1\)-conforming methods. For the linearised Oseen case, the first semi-discrete numerical analysis for time-dependent flows is presented whereby special emphasis is put on pressure- and Reynolds-semi-robustness. For convection-dominated problems, the proposed method relies on a velocity jump upwind stabilisation which is not gradient-based. Complementing the theoretical results, H(div)-FEM are applied to the simulation of full nonlinear Navier–Stokes problems. Focussing on dynamic high Reynolds number examples with vortical structures, the proposed method proves to be capable of reliably handling the planar lattice flow problem, Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities and freely decaying two-dimensional turbulence.


Incompressible flow Divergence-free H(div)-FEM Pressure/Reynolds-semi-robust error estimates Vortex dynamics 

Mathematics Subject Classification

35Q30 65M15 65M60 76D17 76M10 



We gratefully acknowledge the comments and suggestions about this paper from the anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Numerical and Applied MathematicsGeorg-August-University GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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