A C0-discontinuous Galerkin method for the stationary quasi-geostrophic equations of the ocean

Tae Yeon Kim, Eun Jae Park, Dong wook Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This work concerns the development of a finite-element algorithm for the stationary quasi-geostrophic equations to treat the large scale wind-driven ocean circulation. The algorithm is developed based on the streamfunction formulation involving fourth-order gradients of the streamfunction. Here, we examine the adaptation of a relatively inexpensive, nonconforming method based on C0 basis functions. We develop the variational form of the method and establish consistency. The method weakly enforces continuity of the normal flux across interelement boundaries and stabilization is achieved via Nitsche's method. Explicit expression for the choice of the stabilization parameter is derived. Moreover, the theoretical error estimate for the linear Stommel-Munk model is performed. Numerical results from several benchmark problems on rectangular and curved domains are provided to demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of the method. We also provide the Mediterranean sea example to demonstrate the capability of the approach to the wind-driven ocean circulation simulation.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)225-244
Number of pages20
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016


  • Fourth-order partial-differential equation
  • Geophysical fluid dynamics
  • Nitsche's method
  • Nonconforming finite-element method


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