We consider the stability and convergence analysis of pressure stabilized finite element approximations of the transient Stokes equation. The analysis is valid for a class of symmetric pressure stabilization operators, but also for standard, inf-sup stable, velocity/pressure spaces without stabilization. Provided the initial data are chosen as a specific (method-dependent) Ritz-projection, we get unconditional stability and optimal convergence for both pressure and velocity approximations, in natural norms. For arbitrary interpolations of the initial data, a condition between the space and time discretization parameters has to be verified in order to guarantee pressure stability
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