A well-posed and stable stochastic Galerkin formulation of theincompressible Navier-Stokes equations with random data

Per Pettersson, Jan Nordström, Alireza Doostan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We present a well-posed stochastic Galerkin formulation of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations with uncertainty in model parameters or the initial and boundary conditions. The stochastic Galerkin method involves representation of the solution through generalized polynomial chaos expansion and projection of the governing equations onto stochastic basis functions, resulting in an extended system of equations. A relatively low-order generalized polynomial chaos expansion is sufficient to capture the stochastic solution for the problem considered. We derive boundary conditions for the continuous form of the stochastic Galerkin formulation of the velocity and pressure equations. The resulting problem formulation leads to an energy estimate for the divergence. With suitable boundary data on the pressure and velocity, the energy estimate implies zero divergence of the velocity field. Based on the analysis of the continuous equations, we present a semi-discretized system where the spatial derivatives are approximated using finite difference operators with a summation-by-parts property. With a suitable choice of dissipative boundary conditions imposed weakly through penalty terms, the semi-discrete scheme is shown to be stable. Numerical experiments in the laminar flow regime corroborate the theoretical results and we obtain high-order accurate results for the solution variables and the velocity divergence converges to zero as the mesh is refined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-116
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Boundary conditions
  • Incompressible Navier-Stokes equations
  • Stochastic Galerkin method
  • Summation-by-parts operators
  • Uncertainty quantification

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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