Abstract: Several Glimm-type functionals for (piecewise smooth) approximate solutions of nonlinear hyperbolic systems have been introduced in recent years. In this paper, following a work by Baiti and Bressan on genuinely nonlinear systems we provide a framework to prove that such functionals can be extended to general functions with bounded variation and we investigate their lower semi-continuity properties with respect to the strong $L^1$ topology. In particular, our result applies to the functionals introduced by Iguchi-LeFloch and Liu-Yang for systems with general flux-functions, as well as the functional introduced by Baiti-LeFloch-Piccoli for nonclassical entropy solutions. As an illustration of the use of continuous Glimm-type functionals, we also extend a result by Bressan and Colombo for genuinely nonlinear systems, and establish an estimate on the spreading of rarefaction waves in solutions of hyperbolic systems with general flux-function.
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