Finite element approximation of Helmholtz problems with application to seismic wave propagation

Abstract : The main objective of this work is the design of an efficient numerical strategy to solve the Helmholtz equation in highly heterogeneous media. We propose a methodology based on coarse meshes and high order polynomials together with a special quadrature scheme to take into account fine scale heterogeneities. The idea behind this choice is that high order polynomials are known to be robust with respect to the pollution effect and therefore, efficient to solve wave problems in homogeneous media. In this work, we are able to extend so-called "asymptotic error-estimate" derived for problems homogeneous media to the case of heterogeneous media. These results are of particular interest because they show that high order polynomials bring more robustness with respect to the pollution effect even if the solution is not regular, because of the fine scale heterogeneities. We propose special quadrature schemes to take int account fine scale heterogeneities. These schemes can also be seen as an approximation of the medium parameters. If we denote by h the finite-element mesh step and by e the approximation level of the medium parameters, we are able to show a convergence theorem which is explicit in terms of h, e and f, where f is the frequency. The main theoretical results are further validated through numerical experiments. 2D and 3D geophysica benchmarks have been considered. First, these experiments confirm that high-order finite-elements are more efficient to approximate the solution if they are coupled with our multiscale strategy. This is in agreement with our results about the pollution effect. Furthermore, we have carried out benchmarks in terms of computational time and memory requirements for 3D problems. We conclude that our multiscale methodology is able to greatly reduce the computational burden compared to the standard finite-element method
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Théophile Chaumont-Frelet. Finite element approximation of Helmholtz problems with application to seismic wave propagation. General Mathematics [math.GM]. INSA de Rouen, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015ISAM0011⟩. ⟨tel-01246244v2⟩

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