Residual distributions (RD) schemes are a class of of high-resolution finite volume methods for unstructured grids. A key feature of these schemes is that they make use of genuinely multidimensional (approximate) Riemann solvers as opposed to the piecemeal 1D Riemann solvers usually employed by finite volume methods. In 1D, LeVeque and Pelanti [J. Comp. Phys. 172, 572 (2001)] showed that many of the standard approximate Riemann solver methods (e.g., the Roe solver, HLL, Lax-Friedrichs) can be obtained from applying an exact Riemann solver to relaxation systems of the type introduced by Jin and Xin [Comm. Pure Appl. Math. 48, 235 (1995)]. In this work we extend LeVeque and Pelanti’s results and obtain a multidimensional relaxation system from which multidimensional approximate Riemann solvers can be obtained. In particular, we show that with one choice of parameters the relaxation system yields the standard N-scheme. With another choice, the relaxation system yields a new Riemann solver, which can be viewed as a genuinely multidimensional extension of the local Lax-Friedrichs scheme. This new Riemann solver does not require the use Roe-Struijs-Deconinck averages, nor does it require the inversion of an m × m matrix in each computational grid cell, where m is the number of conserved variables. Once this new scheme is established, we apply it on a few standard cases for the 2D compressible Euler equations of gas dynamics. We show that through the use of linear-preserving limiters, the new approach produces numerical solutions that are comparable in accuracy to the N-scheme, despite being computationally less expensive. Key words: residual distribution schemes, relaxation systems, approximate Riemann solvers, finite volume methods, hyperbolic conservation law
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