Global and local conservation of mass, momentum and kinetic energy in the simulation of compressible flow

Gennaro Coppola, Arthur E.P. Veldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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The spatial discretization of convective terms in compressible flow equations is studied from an abstract viewpoint, for finite-difference methods and finite-volume type formulations with cell-centered numerical fluxes. General conditions are sought for the local and global conservation of primary (mass and momentum) and secondary (kinetic energy) invariants on Cartesian meshes. The analysis, based on a matrix approach, shows that sharp criteria for global and local conservation can be obtained and that in many cases these two concepts are equivalent. Explicit numerical fluxes are derived in all finite-difference formulations for which global conservation is guaranteed, even for non-uniform Cartesian meshes. The treatment reveals also an intimate relation between conservative finite-difference formulations and cell-centered finite-volume type approaches. This analogy suggests the design of wider classes of finite-difference discretizations locally preserving primary and secondary invariants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111879
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of computational physics
Publication statusPublished - 15-Feb-2023


  • Compressible flow
  • Finite difference
  • Finite volume
  • Local and global conservation
  • Primary and secondary invariants

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