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Title: New preconditioning strategy for Jacobian-free solvers for variably saturated flows with Richards’ equation

We develop a new approach for solving the nonlinear Richards’ equation arising in variably saturated flow modeling. The growing complexity of geometric models for simulation of subsurface flows leads to the necessity of using unstructured meshes and advanced discretization methods. Typically, a numerical solution is obtained by first discretizing PDEs and then solving the resulting system of nonlinear discrete equations with a Newton-Raphson-type method. Efficiency and robustness of the existing solvers rely on many factors, including an empiric quality control of intermediate iterates, complexity of the employed discretization method and a customized preconditioner. We propose and analyze a new preconditioning strategy that is based on a stable discretization of the continuum Jacobian. We will show with numerical experiments for challenging problems in subsurface hydrology that this new preconditioner improves convergence of the existing Jacobian-free solvers 3-20 times. Furthermore, we show that the Picard method with this preconditioner becomes a more efficient nonlinear solver than a few widely used Jacobian-free solvers.
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0309-1708
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advances in Water Resources
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 94; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0309-1708
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21); USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Mathematics; Planetary Sciences; Richards' equation, variable saturated flow, nonlinear solver, Picard method
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1325352