Following  our goal is introduce a second-order central difference scheme for incompressible flows, based on velocity variables. The use of the velocity formulation yields a more versatile algorithm. The advantage of our proposed central scheme in its velocity formulation is two-fold: generalization to the three dimensional case is straightforward, and the treatment of boundary conditions associated with general geometries becomes simpler. The result is a simple fast high-resolution method, whose accuracy is comparable to that of an upwind scheme. In addition, numerical experiments show the new scheme to be immune to some of the well-known deleterious consequences of under-resolution.
We consider a two-dimensional incompressible flow field, , so that
. The equations of
motion for a Newtonian fluid in conservation form are
where p is the pressure, is the kinematic viscosity, and subscripts denote partial derivatives. The functions and are components of the fluxes of the conserved quantities u and v.
The computational grid consists of rectangular cells of sizes
; at time level
, these cells, ,
are centered at .
Starting with the corresponding cell averages,
, we first
reconstruct a piecewise linear polynomial approximation
which recovers the point values
of the velocity field, .
For second-order accuracy, the piecewise linear reconstructed
velocities take the form,
As before, exact averaging over a staggered control volume yields
and a similar averaging applies for .
An exact computation yields
The incompressible fluxes, e.g., , are approximated in terms of the midpoint rule , which in turn employs predicted midvalues which are obtained from half-step Taylor expansion. Thus our scheme starts with a predictor step of the form
Note that the predictor step is nothing but a forward Euler scheme; conservation form is not essential for the spatial discretization at this stage.
This is followed by a corrector step
Note that the viscous terms are handled here by the implicit Crank-Nicholson discretization which is favored due to its preferable stability properties. Here, we ignore the pressure terms; instead, the contribution of the pressure will be integrated by enforcing zero-divergence fluxes at the last projection step.
Compute the potential
solving the Poisson equation
Then, the pressure gradient at is being updated,
and finally, it is used to evaluate the divergence-free velocity field,
In Figure 1.5.15, we plot vorticity contours for
two shear layer problems studied in :
the inviscid ``thick'' shear layer problem
corresponding to with ,
and a viscous ``thin'' shear layer problem (with ),
corresponding to with .
As in , both plots in Figures 1.5.15a and
1.5.15b are recorded at time t=1.2, and are subject to
an initial perturbation , with .
Further applications of the central schemes for more complex incompressible flows (with 'variable' axisymmetric coefficients, forcing source/viscous terms, ...), can be found in ,.
Figure 1.5.15: Contour lines of the vorticity, , at t=1.2 with initial , using a grid. (a) A ``thick'' shear layer with , and . The contour levels range from -36 to 36 (cf. Figure 3c in Ref. ). (b) A ``thin'' shear layer with , and . The contour levels range from -70 to 70 (cf. Figure 9b in Ref. ).