Insights into Unstructured Mesh Generation for Coastal Ocean Applications.
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS COASTAL AND SEMI-ENCLOSED SEAS SECTION
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The finite element method for discreitizing differential equations is introduced and briefly compared to finite difference approaches. Advantages of finite element approximations include ease of localized mesh refinement and maximization of computational resources through unstructured, graded meshes and element-based computations. The use of triangular elements lead to realistic representations of shoreline and bathymetric complexity boundary conditions are naturally incorporated. Presentation of a theoretical framework and state-of-the-art research for determining required mesh resolution in relation to the modeled physics is followed by practical concerns of mesh generation itself. Known tools for mesh generation and promising develop. mental software are discussed. Detailed descriptions of mesh creation, editing, and model diagnostics using the ACEgredit software, the most versatile and advanced mesh creation and modification tool available, comprises the remainder of this report. Step-by-step instructions for the semi-automatic generation of a finite element mesh are included, which has the potential to advance the rapid relocatability of finite element models.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
- Numerical Mathematics