In this article we prove full discretization error bounds for semilinear second-order evolution equations. We consider exponential integrators in time applied to an abstract nonconforming semi discretization in space. Since the fully discrete schemes involve the spatially discretized semigroup, a crucial point in the error analysis is to eliminate the continuous semigroup in the representation of the exact solution. Hence, we derive a modified variation-of-constants formula driven by the spatially discretized semigroup which holds up to a discretization error. Our main results provide bounds for the full discretization errors for exponential Adams and explicit exponential Runge–Kutta methods. We show convergence with the stiff order of the corresponding exponential integrator in time, and errors stemming from the spatial discretization.
As an application of the abstract theory, we consider an acoustic wave equation with kinetic boundary conditions, for which we also present some numerical experiments to illustrate our results.