In this work we present a Fixed-Mesh ALE method for the numerical simulation of free surface flows capable of using an adaptive finite element mesh covering a background domain. This mesh is successively refined and unrefined at each time step in order to focus the computational effort on the spatial regions where it is required. Some of the main ingredients of the formulation are the use of an Arbitrary-Lagrangian–Eulerian formulation for computing temporal derivatives, the use of stabilization terms for stabilizing convection, stabilizing the lack of compatibility between velocity and pressure interpolation spaces, and stabilizing the ill-conditioning introduced by the cuts on the background finite element mesh, and the coupling of the algorithm with an adaptive mesh refinement procedure suitable for running on distributed memory environments. Algorithmic steps for the projection between meshes are presented together with the algebraic fractional step approach used for improving the condition number of the linear systems to be solved. The method is tested in several numerical examples. The expected convergence rates both in space and time are observed. Smooth solution fields for both velocity and pressure are obtained (as a result of the contribution of the stabilization terms). Finally, a good agreement between the numerical results and the reference experimental data is obtained.
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