A new discontinuous Galerkin spectral element method for elastic waves with physically motivated numerical fluxes
The discontinuous Galerkin (DG) method is an established method for computing approximate solutions of partial differential equations in many applications. Unlike continuous finite elements, in DG methods, numerical fluxes are used to enforce inter-element conditions, and internal and external physical boundary conditions. However, for certain problems such as elastic wave propagation in complex media, where several wave types and wave speeds are simultaneously present, a standard numerical flux may not be compatible with the physical boundary conditions. If surface or interface waves are present, this incompatibility may lead to numerical instabilities. We present a stable and arbitrary order accurate DG method for elastic waves with a physically motivated numerical flux. Our numerical flux is compatible with all well-posed, internal and external, boundary conditions, including linear and nonlinear frictional constitutive equations for modelling spontaneously propagating shear ruptures in elastic solids and dynamic earthquake rupture processes. We present numerical experiments in one and two space dimensions verifying high order accuracy and asymptotic numerical stability, and demonstrating potentials for modelling complex nonlinear frictional problems in elastic solids.