Multiscale mortar mixed finite element methods for flow problems in highly heterogeneous porous media
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We use Darcy's law and conservation of mass to model the flow of a fluid through a porous medium. It is a second order elliptic system with a heterogeneous coefficient. We consider the equations written in mixed form. In the heterogeneous case, we define a new multiscale mortar space that incorporates purely local information from homogenization theory to better approximate the solution along the interfaces with just a few degrees of freedom. In the case of a locally periodic heterogeneous coefficient of period epsilon, we prove that the new method achieves both optimal order error estimates in the discretization parameters and good approximation when epsilon is small. Moreover, we present numerical examples to assess its performance when the coefficient is not obviously locally periodic. We show that the new mortar method works well, and better than polynomial mortar spaces. On the other hand, we also propose to use multiscale mortars as a coarse component to construct a two-level preconditioner for the saddle point linear system arising from the fine scale discretization of the mixed finite element system. The two-level preconditioners are constructed based on the interfaces. We propose a framework to define the interpolation operators for the face based two-level preconditioners for different combination of coarse and fine scale mortar spaces for matching and nonmatching grids. In this dissertation, we show that for quasi-homogeneous problems and matching grids, the condition number of the preconditioned interface operator is bounded by (log(H/h))², which is the same as the traditional two-level preconditioners, for quasi-homogeneous problems. We show several numerical examples to demonstrate that for the strongly heterogeneous porous media, it is often desirable and even necessary to use a higher dimensional coarse mortar space to construct the coarse preconditioner to achieve convergence. We apply our ideas to study slightly compressible single phase and two-phase flow in a porous medium. We find that for the nonlinear single phase problem, the two-level preconditioners could be successfully applied to the symmetrized linear system. For the two-phase problem, using the fine scale, instead of multiscale, velocity solutions from the flow problem can greatly benefit the transport problem.