An improved bounded semi-Lagrangian scheme for the turbulent transport of passive scalars

Siddhartha Verma, Y. Xuan, G. Blanquart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


An improved bounded semi-Lagrangian scalar transport scheme based on cubic Hermite polynomial reconstruction is proposed in this paper. Boundedness of the scalar being transported is ensured by applying derivative limiting techniques. Single sub-cell extrema are allowed to exist as they are often physical, and help minimize numerical dissipation. This treatment is distinct from enforcing strict monotonicity as done by D.L. Williamson and P.J. Rasch [5], and allows better preservation of small scale structures in turbulent simulations. The proposed bounding algorithm, although a seemingly subtle difference from strict monotonicity enforcement, is shown to result in significant performance gain in laminar cases, and in three-dimensional turbulent mixing layers. The scheme satisfies several important properties, including boundedness, low numerical diffusion, and high accuracy. Performance gain in the turbulent case is assessed by comparing scalar energy and dissipation spectra produced by several bounded and unbounded schemes. The results indicate that the proposed scheme is capable of furnishing extremely accurate results, with less severe resolution requirements than all the other bounded schemes tested. Additional simulations in homogeneous isotropic turbulence, with scalar timestep size unconstrained by the CFL number, show good agreement with spectral scheme results available in the literature. Detailed analytical examination of gain and phase error characteristics of the original cubic Hermite polynomial is also included, and points to dissipation and dispersion characteristics comparable to, or better than, those of a fifth order upwind Eulerian scheme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'An improved bounded semi-Lagrangian scheme for the turbulent transport of passive scalars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this