Multi-level adaptive solution of anisotropic porous media flow with strong discontinuous jumps in permeability

Y. C. Lee, P. H. Gaskell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A fast and robust multi-grid algorithm for the efficient solution of diffusion-like, elliptic problems which exhibit strong discontinuous jumps in diffusivity is presented. Although generally applicable to this class of problem, the focus for illustrative purposes is that of porous media flow; in particular, such flows for which accurate solutions can only be achieved if the full permeability tensor is taken into consideration. The merits of adopting one or the other of two different approaches to deriving a discrete analogue to the steady-state Darcy equation, namely a novel weighted average of permeability formulation and a continuity of flux preservation method, are explored. In addition, automatic mesh refinement is incorporated seamlessly via a multi-level adaptive technique, making full use of the local truncation error estimates available from the inclusive full approximation storage scheme. Adaptive cell- and patch-wise mesh refinement strategies are developed and investigated for this purpose and used to solve a sequence of benchmark problems of increasing complexity. The results obtained reveal: (a) the ease with which the overall approach deals with generating accurate solutions for flows involving both distributed anisotropy and strong discontinuous jumps in permeability; (b) that both discrete analogues produce equivalent results in comparable execution times; and (c) the significant reductions in computing resource, memory, and CPU, to accrue from employing automatic adaptive mesh refinement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-868
Number of pages16
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part C: Journal of Mechanical Engineering Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


  • Anisotropy
  • Automatic adaptive mesh refinement
  • Diffusion-like elliptic problems
  • Heterogeneity
  • Multi-grid
  • Porous media


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-level adaptive solution of anisotropic porous media flow with strong discontinuous jumps in permeability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this