Conservation laws are solved by a local Galerkin finite element procedure with adaptive space-time mesh refinement and explicit time integration. The Courant stability condition is used to select smaller time steps on smaller elements of the mesh, thereby greatly increasing efficiency relative to methods having a single global time step. Processor load imbalances, introduced at adaptive enrichment steps, are corrected by using traversals of an octree representing a spatial decomposition of the domain. To accommodate the variable time steps, octree partitioning is extended to use weights derived from element size. Partition boundary smoothing reduces the communications volume of partitioning procedures for a modest cost. Computational results comparing parallel octree and inertial partitioning procedures are presented for the three-dimensional Euler equations of compressible flow solved on an IBM SP2 computer.
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