Shallow flow simulation on dynamically adaptive cut-cell quadtree grids

Q Liang, J Zang, AGL Borthwick, P H Taylor

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44 Citations (SciVal)


A computationally efficient, high-resolution numerical model of shallow flow hydrodynamics is described, based on dynamically adaptive quadtree grids. The numerical model solves the two-dimensional non-linear shallow water equations by means of an explicit second-order MUSCL-Hancock Godunov-type finite volume scheme. Interface fluxes are evaluated using an HLLC approximate Riemann solver. Cartesian cut cells are used to improve the fit to curved boundaries. A ghost-cell immersed boundary method is used to update flow information in the smallest cut cells and overcome the time step restriction that would otherwise apply. The numerical model is validated through simulations of reflection of a surge wave at a wall, a low Froude number potential flow past a circular cylinder, and the shock-like interaction between a bore and a circular cylinder. The computational efficiency is shown to be greatly improved compared with solutions on a uniform structured grid implemented with cut cells
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1777-1799
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Quadtree
  • Non-linear shallow water equations
  • Godunov method
  • Approximate Riemann solver
  • Cut cell


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