We now look at the advection equation with diffusion (also known as the convection–diffusion equation, or sometimes the damped one-way wave equation). This takes the form

\[\pd{u}{t}=D \nabla^2 u-\v{v}\cdot \vnabla u,\]

where we consider two forms of the advection/drift velocity $\v{v}$:

\[\begin{align} \v{v} &= V(y,-x),\\ \text{or} \quad \v{v} &= V(\cos(\theta),\sin(\theta)), \end{align}\]

where $\theta$ is a parameter

The first of these expressions is a rotational velocity field about the centre of the domain, whereas the second is linear (unidirectional) advection in the direction $\theta$.

  • Load the interactive simulation with rotational advection. By default it uses Dirichlet boundary conditions.

  • Clicking in the domain introduces some amount of mass which diffuses and advects along the rotating vector field. Importantly, Dirichlet boundary conditions will not conserve mass, and so you may see odd effects near the edges of the domain, such as the concentration being destroyed.

  • Changing the value of $V$ will change the speed of the rotation, though $V$ much larger than the initial value may lead to bad solutions (see the numerical notes below). Making $V$ negative will change the direction of the rotation.

  • Now click the interactive simulation with unidirectional advection. By default it uses Periodic boundary conditions.

  • Changing $\theta$ will change the direction of advection, and $V$ the magnitude. This form of advection is less sensitive to details like boundary conditions, so these can be changed to explore different scenarios.

  • In both examples, you can go to to change to a view that also plots the vector field $\v{v}$ as arrows on top of the concentration profiles.

Numerical notes

First-order derivatives are in general harder to deal with numerically for a variety of reasons, and in particular models involving them can depend more subtly on details such as smoothness of initial conditions. In this example, we are using a different form of the brush, which can be found under Brush This adds some smoothing to the boundaries of the bump each time the screen is clicked. This is important to reduce spurious oscillations due to the first derivative terms.