Preprint 2003-017

Front Tracking for Scalar Balance Equations

K. H. Karlsen, N. H. Risebro, and J. D. Towers

Abstract: We propose and prove convergence of a front tracking method for scalar conservation laws with source term. The method is based on writing the single conservation law as a $2\times 2$ quasilinear system without a source term, and employ the solution of the Riemann problem for this system in the front tracking procedure. In this way the source term is processed in the Riemann solver, and one avoids using operator splitting. Since we want to treat the resonant regime, classical arguments for bounding the total variation of numerical solutions do not apply here. Instead compactness of a sequence of front tracking solutions is achieved using a variant of the singular mapping technique invented by Temple \cite{Temple}. The front tracking method has no CFL--condition associated with it, and it does not discriminate between stiff and non-stiff source terms. This makes it an attractive approach for stiff problems, as is demonstrated in numerical examples. In addition, the numerical examples show that the front tracking method is able to preserve steady--state solutions (or achieving them in the long time limit) with good accuracy.

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K. H. Karlsen, <>
N. H. Risebro, <>
J. D. Towers, <>
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<> February 24 2003.

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