Adaptive mesh refinement for coupled elliptic-hyperbolic systems

Frans Pretorius, Matthew W. Choptuik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


We present a modification to the Berger and Oliger adaptive mesh refinement algorithm designed to solve systems of coupled, non-linear, hyperbolic and elliptic partial differential equations. Such systems typically arise during constrained evolution of the field equations of general relativity. The novel aspect of this algorithm is a technique of "extrapolation and delayed solution" used to deal with the non-local nature of the solution of the elliptic equations, driven by dynamical sources, within the usual Berger and Oliger time-stepping framework. We show empirical results demonstrating the effectiveness of this technique in axisymmetric gravitational collapse simulations, and further demonstrate that the solution time scales approximately linearly with problem size. We also describe several other details of the code, including truncation error estimation using a self-shadow hierarchy, and the refinement-boundary interpolation operators that are used to help suppress spurious high-frequency solution components ("noise").

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-274
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 10 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


  • Adaptive mesh refinement
  • Coupled elliptic-hyperbolic systems
  • Finite different methods
  • Numerical methods
  • Numerical relativity


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