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%and so the lava with the much higher density is able to move independently with respect to the air, and the interface between the two fluids is not constrained. 
%and so the lava with the much higher density is able to move independently with respect to the air, and the interface between the two fluids is not constrained. 
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There are a number of numerical techniques to define and track the free surfaces. One of these methods, which is conceptually the simplest, is to construct a Lagrangian grid which moves with the fluid, and so it tracks the free surface. The limitation of this method is that it cannot track surfaces that break apart or intersect. Another limitation is that the elements in the grid can become severely distorted, resulting in numerical instability. The Arbitrary LagrangianEulerian (ALE) method for CFD in moving domains is used to overcome this problem by remeshing, but there is an overhead in computational time, and it results in a loss of accuracy due to the process of mapping the state variables every remesh by interpolation. 
There are a number of numerical techniques to define and track the free surfaces. One of these methods, which is conceptually the simplest, is to construct a Lagrangian grid which moves with the fluid, and so it tracks the free surface. The limitation of this method is that it cannot track surfaces that break apart or intersect. Another limitation is that the elements in the grid can become severely distorted, resulting in numerical instability. The Arbitrary LagrangianEulerian (ALE) method for CFD in moving domains is used to overcome this problem by remeshing, but there is an overhead in computational time, and it results in a loss of accuracy due to the process of mapping the state variables every remesh by interpolation. 
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There is a technique to overcome these limitations called the Level Set Method, for tracking interfaces between two fluids. The advantages of the method is that CFD can be performed on a fixed Cartesian mesh, and therefore problems with remeshing can be avoided. The field equations for calculating variables such as velocity and pressure are solved on the the same mesh. The Level Set Method is based upon the implicit representation of the interface by a continuous function. The function takes the form as a signed distance function, $\phi(x)$, of the interface in a Eulerian coordinate system. For example, the zero isocontour of the unit circle $\phi(x)=x^2 + y^2 1$ is the set of all points where $\phi(x)=0$. Refer to Figure \ref{UNITCIRCLE}. 
There is a technique to overcome these limitations called the Level Set Method, for tracking interfaces between two fluids. The advantages of the method is that CFD can be performed on a fixed Cartesian mesh, and therefore problems with remeshing can be avoided. The field equations for calculating variables such as velocity and pressure are solved on the same mesh. The Level Set Method is based upon the implicit representation of the interface by a continuous function. The function takes the form as a signed distance function, $\phi(x)$, of the interface in a Eulerian coordinate system. For example, the zero isocontour of the unit circle $\phi(x)=x^2 + y^2 1$ is the set of all points where $\phi(x)=0$. Refer to Figure \ref{UNITCIRCLE}. 
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\begin{figure} 
\begin{figure} 
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\center 
\center 