Vorticity boundary condition and related issues for finite difference schemes

E. Weinan, Jian Guo Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


This paper discusses three basic issues related to the design of finite difference schemes for unsteady viscous incompressible flows using vorticity formulations: the boundary condition for vorticity, an efficient time-stepping procedure, and the relation between these schemes and the ones based on velocity-pressure formulation. We show that many of the newly developed global vorticity boundary conditions can actually be written as some local formulas derived earlier. We also show that if we couple a standard centered difference scheme with third-or fourth-order explicit Runge-Kutta methods, the resulting schemes have no cell Reynolds number constraints. For high Reynolds number flows, these schemes are stable under the CFL condition given by the convective terms. Finally, we show that the classical MAC scheme is the same as Thom's formula coupled with second-order centered differences in the interior, in the sense that one can define discrete vorticity in a natural way for the MAC scheme and get the same values as the ones computed from Thom's formula. We use this to derive an efficient fourth-order Runge-Kutta time discretization for the MAC scheme from the one for Thom's formula. We present numerical results for driven cavity flow at high Reynolds number (105).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-382
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 1996

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


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