[aspect-devel] Negative pressure

John Naliboff jbnaliboff at ucdavis.edu
Thu Mar 10 10:00:15 PST 2016

Hi Lev,

Following from Julianne’s points below, it would be quite helpful if you could make separate plots of hydrostatic vs dynamic pressure and provide a bit more detail about the model (bc, material model, etc). 


> On Mar 10, 2016, at 9:26 AM, Juliane Dannberg <dannberg at gfz-potsdam.de> wrote:
> Hi Lev,
> I see your point that the pressure is positive at the top of the model and then decreases with depth, which normally shouldn't be the case.
> But just from seeing the pictures it is difficult for us to find out what the problem is.
> If your gravity is positive (which I assume it is), other reasons for negative pressures I sometimes see in my models are prescribing velocities at the boundaries. For example, if you prescribe convergent velocities at the top boundaries, there is a point somewhere in the middle of the top of the domain, where velocities point inwards from both sides, and so you get a very high spike in dynamic pressure in this place. It looks like this could be the case in your model. If you then normalize your pressure with the values at the surface, they might become negative in a layer below.
> How does your pressure gradient look like? Is that basically density * gravity once you are a few cells away from the top, or is it different? If you find that the problem is only because of prescribed velocities at the surface, you can just use a different value for the surface pressure, one that you think is reasonable for your model.
> Another point to think about is the inflow: is the sum of your in- and outflow zero?
> Best,
> Juliane
> On 03/10/2016 09:14 AM, Wolfgang Bangerth wrote:
>> On 03/09/2016 11:45 PM, Lev Karatun wrote:
>>> thank you for the quick reply. The pressure normalization was actually
>>> set to "no". I tried changing it to "surface", but it made made it so
>>> that the pressure across the entire model domain except for the very lop
>>> layer became negative =(
>> But the point remains true: the Stokes equations only determine the pressure up to a constant. If you want to add 100 GPa to the pressure everywhere, it will still solve the equations. In other words, whether the pressure is negative or positive matters from a physical perspective, but has no mathematical meaning in the context of the equations you are solving because you can make the pressure positive everywhere or negative everywhere by just adding a constant. Mathematically, what matters are only pressure *differences*, not the overall pressure.
>> Best
>> W.
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