In this paper, we compare hybridizable discontinuous Galerkin (HDG) methods for numerically solving the velocity-pressure-gradient, velocity-pressure-stress, and velocity-pressure-vorticity formulations of Stokes flow. Although they are defined by using different formulations of the Stokes equations, the methods share several common features. First, they use polynomials of degree k for all the components of the approximate solution. Second, they have the same globally coupled variables, namely, the approximate trace of the velocity on the faces and the mean of the pressure on the elements. Third, they give rise to a matrix system of the same size, sparsity structure and similar condition number. As a result, they have the same computational complexity and storage requirement. And fourth, they can provide, by means of an element-by element postprocessing, a new approximation of the velocity which, unlike the original velocity, is divergence-free and H(div)-conforming. We present numerical results showing that each of the approximations provided by these three methods converge with the optimal order of k+1 in L^{2} for any k≥0. We also display experiments indicating that the postprocessed velocity is a better approximation than the original approximate velocity. It converges with an additional order than the original velocity for the gradient-based HDG, and with the same order for the vorticity-based HDG methods. For the stress-based HDG methods, it seems to converge with an additional order for even polynomial degree approximations. Finally, the numerical results indicate that the method based on the velocity-pressure-gradient formulation provides the best approximations for similar computational complexity.

Keywords

Finite element methodsDiscontinuous Galerkin methodsHybrid/mixed methodsAugmented LagrangianStokes flow