Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Z. J. Wang


An efficient implementation of the high-order spectral volume (SV) method is presented for multi-dimensional conservation laws on unstructured grids. In the SV method, each simplex cell is called a spectral volume (SV), and the SV is further subdivided into polygonal (2D), or polyhedral (3D) control volumes (CVs) to support high-order data reconstructions. In the traditional implementation, Gauss quadrature formulas are used to approximate the flux integrals on all faces. In the new approach, a nodal set is selected and used to reconstruct a high-order polynomial approximation for the flux vector, and then the flux integrals on the internal faces are computed analytically, without the need for Gauss quadrature formulas. This gives a significant advantage over the traditional SV method in efficiency and ease of implementation. Fundamental properties of the new SV implementation are studied and high-order accuracy is demonstrated for linear and nonlinear advection equations, and the Euler equations.;The new quadrature-free approach is then extended to handle local adaptive hp-refinement (grid and order refinement). Efficient edge-based adaptation utilizing a binary tree search algorithm is employed. Several different adaptation criteria which focus computational effort near high gradient regions are presented. Both h- and p-refinements are presented in a general framework where it is possible to perform either or both on any grid cell at any time. Several well-known inviscid flow test cases, subjected to various levels of adaptation, are utilized to demonstrate the effectiveness of the method.;An analysis of the accuracy and stability properties of the spectral volume (SV) method is then presented. The current work seeks to address the issue of stability, as well as polynomial quality, in the design of SV partitions. A new approach is presented, which efficiently locates stable partitions by means of constrained minimization. Once stable partitions are located, a high quality interpolation polynomial is then assured by subsequently minimizing the dissipation and dispersion errors of the stable partitions. Preliminary results are given which indicate this to be an effective method for use in the design of stable and highly accurate SV partitions of arbitrary order.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Robert Evan Harris



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

130 pages