The 3D Elliptical Parcel-In-Cell (EPIC) method

Matthias Frey*, David G. Dritschel*, Steven Böing

*Corresponding author for this work

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We present the three-dimensional version of the Elliptical Parcel-In-Cell (EPIC) method for the simulation of fluid flows and analogous continuum systems. The method represents a flow using a space-filling set of ellipsoidal parcels, which move, rotate and deform in the flow field. Additionally, parcels may carry any number of attributes, such as vorticity, density, temperature, etc, which generally evolve in time on the moving parcels. An underlying grid is used for efficiency in computing the velocity field from the interpolated vorticity field, and in obtaining parcel attribute tendencies. Mixing is enabled by permitting parcels to split when excessively deformed, and by merging very small parcels with the nearest other parcel. Several tests are provided which illustrate the behaviour of the method and demonstrate its effectiveness in modelling complex, buoyancy-driven turbulent fluid flows. The results are compared with a large eddy simulation (LES) and a direct numerical simulation (DNS) model.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100136
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Computational Physics: X
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2023


  • PIC
  • Elliptical parcels
  • Lagrangian methods
  • Density stratified flows
  • Turbulent flows


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