Immersed and Discontinuous Finite Element Methods

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Virginia Tech

In this dissertation we prove the superconvergence of the minimal-dissipation local discontinuous Galerkin method for elliptic problems and construct optimal immersed finite element approximations and discontinuous immersed finite element methods for the Stokes interface problem.

In the first part we present an error analysis for the minimal dissipation local discontinuous Galerkin method applied to a model elliptic problem on Cartesian meshes when polynomials of degree at most k and an appropriate approximation of the boundary condition are used. This special approximation allows us to achieve k + 1 order of convergence for both the potential and its gradient in the L2 norm. Here we improve on existing estimates for the solution gradient by a factor √h.

In the second part we present discontinuous immersed finite element (IFE) methods for the Stokes interface problem on Cartesian meshes that does not require the mesh to be aligned with the interface. As such, we allow unfitted meshes that are cut by the interface. Thus, elements may contain more than one fluid. On these unfitted meshes we construct an immersed Q1/Q0 finite element approximation that depends on the location of the interface. We discuss the basic features of the proposed Q1/Q0 IFE basis functions such as the unisolvent property. We present several numerical examples to demonstrate that the proposed IFE approximations applied to solve interface Stokes problems maintain the optimal approximation capability of their standard counterpart applied to solve the homogeneous Stokes problem. Similarly, we also show that discontinuous Galerkin IFE solutions of the Stokes interface problem maintain the optimal convergence rates in both L2 and broken H1 norms. Furthermore, we extend our method to solve the axisymmetric Stokes interface problem with a moving interface and test the proposed method by solving several benchmark problems from the literature.

LDG, Stokes interface problem, emulsions, discontinuous Galerkin, Immersed finite element