Discontinuous Galerkin spectral element method for shock capturing with summation by parts properties

Fengrui Zhang, Yulia T. Peet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a computational methodology developed for a high-order approximation of compressible fluid dynamics equations with discontinuities. The methodology is based on a discontinuous Galerkin spectral-element method (DGSEM) built upon a split discretization framework with summation-by-parts (SBP) property, which mimics the integration-by-parts operation in a discrete sense. To extend the split DGSEM framework to discontinuous cases, we implement a shock capturing method based on the entropy viscosity formulation. The developed high-order split-form DGSEM with shock-capturing methodology is subject to a series of evaluation on both one-dimensional and two-dimensional, continuous and discontinuous cases. Convergence of the method is demonstrated both for smooth and shocked cases that have analytical solutions. The 2D Riemann problem tests illustrate an accurate representation of all the relevant flow phenomena, such as shocks, contact discontinuities, and rarefaction waves. All test cases are able to run with a polynomial order of 7 or higher. The values of the tunable parameters related to the entropy viscosity are robust for both 1D and 2D test problems. We also show that higher-order approximations yield smaller errors than lower-order approximations, for the same number of total degrees of freedom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100123
JournalJournal of Computational Physics: X
StatePublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Discontinuous Galerkin spectral element method
  • Entropy viscosity
  • High order
  • Shock capturing
  • Split form
  • Summation by parts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science Applications


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