Variational space-time (dis)continuous Galerkin method for nonlinear free surface waves

Elena Gagarina, Jacobus J.W. van der Vegt, V.R. Ambati, Onno Bokhove

    Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional

    49 Downloads (Pure)


    A new variational finite element method is developed for nonlinear free surface gravity water waves. This method also handles waves generated by a wave maker. Its formulation stems from Miles' variational principle for water waves together with a space-time finite element discretization that is continuous in space and discontinuous in time. The key features of this formulation are: (i) a discrete variational approach that gives rise to conservation of discrete energy and phase space and preservation of variational structure; and (ii) a space-time approach that guarantees satisfaction of the geometric conservation law which is crucial in handling the deforming flow domain due to the wave maker and free surface motion. The numerical discretization is a combination of a second order finite element discretization in space and a second order symplectic Stormer-Verlet discretization in time. The resulting numerical scheme is verified against nonlinear analytical solutions and discrete energy conservation is demonstrated for long time simulations. We also validated the scheme with experimental data of waves generated in a wave basin of the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands.
    Original languageUndefined
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    PublisherUniversity of Twente, Department of Applied Mathematics
    Number of pages36
    Publication statusPublished - May 2013

    Publication series

    PublisherUniversity of Twente, Department of Applied Mathematics
    ISSN (Print)1874-4850
    ISSN (Electronic)1874-4850


    • Finite Element Method
    • EWI-23362
    • Variational formulation
    • IR-86060
    • Symplectic time integration
    • Deforming grids
    • Nonlinear water waves
    • METIS-297647
    • Galerkin approximation

    Cite this