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The surface gradient method for the treatment of source terms in the shallow-water equations

Zhou, Jian G. and Causon, Derek M. and Mingham, Clive G. and Ingram, David M. (2001) The surface gradient method for the treatment of source terms in the shallow-water equations. Journal of computational physics, 168 (1). pp. 1-25. ISSN 0021-9991

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Abstract

A novel scheme has been developed for data reconstruction within a Godunov-type method for solving the shallow-water equations with source terms. In contrast to conventional data reconstruction methods based on conservative variables, the water surface level is chosen as the basis for data reconstruction. This provides accurate values of the conservative variables at cell interfaces so that the fluxes can be accurately calculated with a Riemann solver. The main advantages are: (1) a simple centered discretization is used for the source terms; (2) the scheme is no more complicated than the conventional method for the homogeneous terms; (3) small perturbations in the water surface elevation can be accurately predicted; and (4) the method is generally suitable for both steady and unsteady shallow-water problems. The accuracy of the scheme has been verified by recourse to both steady and unsteady flow problems. Excellent agreement has been obtained between the numerical predictions and analytical solutions. The results indicate that the new scheme is accurate, simple, efficient, and robust.

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