Stability of Discontinuous Galerkin Spectral Element Schemes for Wave Propagation when the Coefficient Matrices have Jumps

David A. Kopriva, Gregor J. Gassner, Jan Nordström

We use the behavior of the $L_{2}$ norm of the solutions of linear hyperbolic equations with discontinuous coefficient matrices as a surrogate to infer stability of discontinuous Galerkin spectral element methods (DGSEM). Although the $L_{2}$ norm is not bounded by the initial data for homogeneous and dissipative boundary conditions for such systems, the $L_{2}$ norm is easier to work with than a norm that discounts growth due to the discontinuities. We show that the DGSEM with an upwind numerical flux that satisfies the Rankine-Hugoniot (or conservation) condition has the same energy bound as the partial differential equation does in the $L_{2}$ norm, plus an added dissipation that depends on how much the approximate solution fails to satisfy the Rankine-Hugoniot jump.

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