Improvement on spherical symmetry in two-dimensional
cylindrical coordinates for a class of control volume Lagrangian
Juan Cheng1and Chi-Wang Shu2
In , Maire developed a class of cell-centered Lagrangian schemes for solving Euler
equations of compressible gas dynamics in cylindrical coordinates. These schemes use a
node-based discretization of the numerical fluxes. The control volume version has several
distinguished properties, including the conservation of mass, momentum and total energy
and compatibility with the geometric conservation law (GCL). However it also has a lim-
itation in that it cannot preserve spherical symmetry for one-dimensional spherical flow.
An alternative is also given to use the first order area-weighted approach which can ensure
spherical symmetry, at the price of sacrificing conservation of momentum. In this paper,
we apply the methodology proposed in our recent work  to the first order control volume
scheme of Maire in  to obtain the spherical symmetry property. The modified scheme
can preserve one-dimensional spherical symmetry in a two-dimensional cylindrical geometry
when computed on an equal-angle-zoned initial grid, and meanwhile it maintains its original
good properties such as conservation and GCL. Several two-dimensional numerical examples
in cylindrical coordinates are presented to demonstrate the good performance of the scheme
in terms of symmetry, non-oscillation and robustness properties.
Keywords: control volume Lagrangian scheme; spherical symmetry preservation; con-
servative; cell-centered; compressible flow; cylindrical coordinates
1Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics, Beijing 100088, China.
cheng firstname.lastname@example.org. Research is supported in part by NSFC grants 10972043 and 10931004. Addi-
tional support is provided by the National Basic Research Program of China under grant 2005CB321702.
email@example.com.Research is supported in part by ARO grant W911NF-08-1-0520 and NSF
University, Providence,RI02912. E-mail:
The Lagrangian method is one of the main numerical methods for simulating multidimen-
sional fluid flow, in which the mesh moves with the local fluid velocity. It is widely used
in many fields for multi-material flow simulations such as astrophysics, inertial confinement
fusion (ICF) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), due to its distinguished advantage in
capturing material interfaces automatically and sharply. There are two kinds of Lagrangian
methods. One is built on a staggered discretization in which velocity (momentum) is stored
at vertices, while density and internal energy are stored at cell centers. The density / inter-
nal energy and velocity are solved on two different control volumes, see, e.g. [18, 1, 3]. This
kind of Lagrangian schemes usually uses an artificial viscosity term, for example [18, 4, 5],
to ensure the dissipation of kinetic energy into internal energy through shock waves. The
other is based on the cell-centered discretization in which density, momentum and energy are
all centered within cells and evolved on the same control volume, e.g. [10, 17, 15, 6, 7, 13].
This kind of schemes does not require the addition of an explicit artificial viscosity for shock
capturing. Numerical diffusion is implicitly contained in the Riemann solvers.
It is a critical issue for a Lagrangian scheme to keep certain symmetry in a coordinate
system different from that symmetry. For example, in the simulation of implosions, since
the small deviation from spherical symmetry due to numerical errors may be amplified by
Rayleigh-Taylor or other instability which may lead to unexpected large errors, it is very
important for the scheme to keep the spherical symmetry. In the past several decades,
many research works have been performed concerning the spherical symmetry preservation
in two-dimensional cylindrical coordinates. The most widely used method that keeps spher-
ical symmetry exactly on an equal-angle-zoned grid in cylindrical coordinates is the area-
weighted method [23, 2, 20, 22, 3, 14]. In this approach one uses a Cartesian form of the
momentum equation in the cylindrical coordinate system, hence integration is performed
on area rather than on the true volume in cylindrical coordinates. However, these area-
weighted schemes have a flaw in that they may violate momentum conservation. Margolin
and Shashkov used a curvilinear grid to construct symmetry-preserving discretizations for
Lagrangian gas dynamics . In our recent work , we have developed a new cell-centered
control volume Lagrangian scheme for solving Euler equations of compressible gas dynamics
in two-dimensional cylindrical coordinates. Based on the strategy of local coordinate trans-
form and a careful treatment of the source term in the momentum equation, the scheme is
designed to be able to preserve one-dimensional spherical symmetry in a two-dimensional
cylindrical geometry when computed on an equal-angle-zoned initial grid. A distinguished
feature of our scheme is that it can keep both the symmetry and conservation properties on
the straight-line grid. However, our scheme in  does not satisfy the geometric conservation
In , Maire developed a class of high order cell-centered Lagrangian schemes for solv-
ing Euler equations of compressible gas dynamics in cylindrical coordinates. A node-based
discretization of the numerical fluxes is given which makes the finite volume scheme compat-
ible with the geometric conservation law. Both the control volume and area-weighted dis-
cretizations of the momentum equations are presented in . The control volume scheme is
conservative for mass, momentum and total energy, and satisfies a local entropy inequality in
its first-order semi-discrete form. However, it does not preserve spherical symmetry. On the
other hand, the first order area-weighted scheme is conservative for mass and total energy
and preserves spherical symmetry for one-dimensional spherical flow on equal-angle polar
grid, but it cannot preserve the momentum conservation and does not satisfy the entropy
inequality. Numerical tests are given in  which verify the robustness of the schemes.
In this paper, we attempt to apply the strategy proposed in  on Maire’s first order con-
trol volume Lagrangian scheme  to improve its property in symmetry preservation while
keeping its main original good properties including GCL, conservation of mass, momentum
and total energy.
An outline of the rest of this paper is as follows. In Section 2, we describe the modified
scheme and discuss some critical issues such as GCL, conservation and spherical symmetry
preservation about the scheme. In Section 3, numerical examples are given to demonstrate
the performance of the new modified cell-centered Lagrangian scheme. In Section 4 we will
give concluding remarks.
2The improvement on the cell-centered control vol-
ume Lagrangian scheme of Maire in cylindrical co-
2.1The compressible Euler equations in a Lagrangian formulation
in cylindrical coordinates
The compressible inviscid flow is governed by the Euler equations which have the following
integral form in the Lagrangian formulation
Γ(t)Pu · nds
where ρ is the density, P is the pressure, u is the vector of velocity, E is the specific total
energy, and n is the unit outward normal to the boundary Γ(t).
The geometric conservation law refers to the fact that the rate of change of a Lagrangian
volume should be computed consistently with the node motion, which can be formulated as
u · nds.(2.2)
In this paper, we seek to study the axisymmetric compressible Euler system. Its specific
form in the cylindrical coordinates is as follows
Ω(t)ρuzrdrdz = −?
Γ(t)u · nrdl
Ω(t)ρurrdrdz = −?
Γ(t)Pu · nrdl
where z and r are the axial and radial directions respectively. u = (uz,ur), where uz, urare
the velocity components in the z and r directions respectively, and n = (nz,nr) is the unit
outward normal to the boundary Γ(t) in the z-r coordinates.
The set of equations is completed by the addition of an equation of state (EOS) with the
following general form
P = P(ρ,e) (2.4)
where e = E −1
then the equation of state has a simpler form
2|u|2is the specific internal energy. Especially, if we consider the ideal gas,
P = (γ − 1)ρe
where γ is a constant representing the ratio of specific heat capacities of the fluid.
In the next subsection, we will first summarize the control volume scheme of Maire in
2.2The control volume scheme of Maire in cylindrical coordinates
2.2.1Notations and assumptions
We will mostly use the notations in .The 2D spatial domain Ω is discretized into
quadrangular computational cells. Each quadrangular cell is assigned a unique index c, and
is denoted by Ωc(t). The boundary of the cell Ωcis denoted as ∂Ωc. Each vertex of the mesh
is assigned a unique index p and we denote the counterclockwise ordered list of the vertices
of the cell Ωcby p(c). The cell Ωcis surrounded by four cells denoted as Ωb, Ωr, Ωt, Ωlwhich
correspond to the bottom, right, top and left positions respectively. Acdenotes the area of
the cell Ωc. Vcis the volume of the cell, that is, the volume of the circular ring obtained by
rotating this cell around the azimuthal z-axis (without the 2π factor).
Using these notations, the set of equations (2.3) can be rewritten in the following control
0 0.20.4 0.60.81
Figure 3.12: The results of the Sedov problem with 30 × 30 grids at t = 1.0. Left: the
original scheme (2.15); Right: the modified scheme (2.18). Top: final grid. Bottom: density
vs radial radius.Solid line: exact solution; symbols: computational solution.
From these figures, we can see that there is no grid distortion along the axes, the spherical
symmetry is preserved better and the shock position is correct for the modified scheme,
which demonstrate the robustness of the modified scheme in this problem on the Cartesian
4 Concluding remarks
In this paper we apply the methodology proposed in our previous work  on Maire’s first
order control volume Lagrangian scheme . The purpose of this work is to improve the
scheme’s property in symmetry preservation while maintaining its original good properties
including geometric conservation law (GCL) and conservation of mass, momentum and total
energy.The modified scheme is proven to have one-dimensional spherical symmetry in
the two-dimensional cylindrical geometry for equal-angle-zoned initial grids. Several two-
dimensional examples in the cylindrical coordinates have been presented which demonstrate
Figure 3.13: Grid and density contour for the Noh problem with 50 × 50 Cartesian cells at
t = 0.6. Top: the original scheme (2.15); Bottom: the modified scheme (2.18). Left: whole
grid; Right: zoom on the region with shock.
the good performance of the modified scheme in symmetry, non-oscillation and robustness.
The improvement of the modified scheme in accuracy constitutes our future work.
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