A characteristic space-time conservation element and solution element method for conservation laws

Hua Shen, Chih-yung Wen, De Liang Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, an upwind space-time conservation element and solution element (CE/SE) method is developed to solve conservation laws. In the present method, the mesh quantity and spatial derivatives are the independent marching variables, which is consistent with the original CE/SE method proposed by Chang (1995) [5]. The staggered time marching strategy and the definition of conservation element (CE) also follow Chang's propositions. Nevertheless, the definition of solution element (SE) is modified from that of Chang. The numerical flux through the interface of two different conservation elements is not directly derived by a Taylor expansion in the reversed time direction as proposed by Chang, but determined by an upwind procedure. This modification does not change the local and global conservative features of the original method. Although, the time marching scheme of mesh variables is the same with the original method, the upwind fluxes are involved in the calculation of spatial derivatives, yielding a totally different approach from that of Chang's method. The upwind procedure breaks the space-time inversion invariance of the original scheme, so that the new scheme can be directly applied to capture discontinuities without spurious oscillations. In addition, the present method maintains low dissipation in a wide range of CFL number (from 10-6to 1). Furthermore, we extend the upwind CE/SE method to solve the Euler equations by adopting three different approximate Riemann solvers including Harten, Lax and van Leer (HLL) Riemann solver, contact discontinuity restoring HLLC Riemann solver and mathematically rigorous Roe Riemann solver. Extensive numerical examples are carried out to demonstrate the robustness of the present method. The numerical results show that the new CE/SE solvers perform improved resolutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-118
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015


  • Characteristic-based scheme
  • Riemann solver
  • Space-time conservation element and solution element (CE/SE) method
  • Upwind scheme

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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