, Volume 41, Issue 3, pp 371-378,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 19 Jun 2007

The role of continuity in residual-based variational multiscale modeling of turbulence


This paper examines the role of continuity of the basis in the computation of turbulent flows. We compare standard finite elements and non-uniform rational B-splines (NURBS) discretizations that are employed in Isogeometric Analysis (Hughes et al. in Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng, 194:4135–4195, 2005). We make use of quadratic discretizations that are C 0-continuous across element boundaries in standard finite elements, and C 1-continuous in the case of NURBS. The variational multiscale residual-based method (Bazilevs in Isogeometric analysis of turbulence and fluid-structure interaction, PhD thesis, ICES, UT Austin, 2006; Bazilevs et al. in Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng, submitted, 2007; Calo in Residual-based multiscale turbulence modeling: finite volume simulation of bypass transition. PhD thesis, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 2004; Hughes et al. in proceedings of the XXI international congress of theoretical and applied mechanics (IUTAM), Kluwer, 2004; Scovazzi in Multiscale methods in science and engineering, PhD thesis, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford Universty, 2004) is employed as a turbulence modeling technique. We find that C 1-continuous discretizations outperform their C 0-continuous counterparts on a per-degree-of-freedom basis. We also find that the effect of continuity is greater for higher Reynolds number flows.