A state redistribution algorithm for finite volume schemes on cut cell meshes

Marsha Berger, Andrew Giuliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we develop a new technique, called state redistribution, that allows the use of explicit time stepping when approximating solutions to hyperbolic conservation laws on embedded boundary grids. State redistribution is a postprocessing technique applied after each time step or stage of the base finite volume scheme, using a time step that is proportional to the volume of the full cells. The idea is to stabilize the cut cells by temporarily merging them into larger, possibly overlapping neighborhoods, then replacing the cut cell values with a stabilized value that maintains conservation and accuracy. We present examples of state redistribution using two base schemes: MUSCL and a second order Method of Lines finite volume scheme. State redistribution is used to compute solutions to several standard test problems in gas dynamics on cut cell meshes, with both smooth and discontinuous solutions. We show that our method does not reduce the accuracy of the base scheme and that it successfully captures shocks in a non-oscillatory manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109820
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • Cut cells
  • Embedded boundary finite volume scheme
  • Small cell problem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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