Stabilized finite element methods for the time-spectral convection-diffusion equation

Mahdi Esmaily, Dongjie Jia

Discretizing a solution in the Fourier domain rather than the time domain presents a significant advantage in solving transport problems that vary smoothly and periodically in time, such as cardiorespiratory flows. The finite element solution of the resulting time-spectral formulation is investigated here for the convection-diffusion equations. In addition to the baseline Galerkin's method, we consider stabilized approaches inspired by the streamline upwind Petrov/Galerkin (SUPG), least square (LSQ), and variational multiscale (VMS) methods. We also introduce a new augmented SUPG (ASU) method that, by design, produces a nodally exact solution in one dimension for piecewise linear interpolation functions. Comparing these five methods using 1D, 2D, and 3D canonical test cases shows while the ASU is most accurate overall, it exhibits convergence issues in extremely oscillatory flows with a high Womersley number in 3D. The VMS method presents an attractive alternative due to its excellent convergence characteristics and reasonable accuracy.

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