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Preprint-No.: <   398   >   Published in: July 2014   PDF-File: IGPM398.pdf
Title:A Trace Finite Element Method for a Class of Coupled Bulk-Interface Transport Problemes
Authors:Sven Groß, Maxim A. Olshanskii, Arnold Reusken
Abstract:
In this paper we study a system of advection-diffusion equations in a bulk domain coupled to an advection-diffusion equation on an embedded surface. Such systems of coupled partial differential equations arise in, for example, the modeling of transport and diffusion of surfactants in two-phase flows. The model considered here accounts for adsorption-desorption of the surfactants at a sharp interface between two fluids and their transport and diffusion in both fluid phases and along the interface. The paper gives a well-posedness analysis for the system of bulk-surface equations and introduces a finite element method for its numerical solution. The finite element method is unfitted, i.e., the mesh is not aligned to the interface. The method is based on taking traces of a standard finite element space both on the bulk domains and the embedded surface. The numerical approach allows an implicit definition of the surface as the zero level of a level-set function. Optimal order error estimates are proved for the finite element method both in the bulk-surface energy norm and the L2 -norm. The analysis is not restricted to linear finite elements and a piecewise planar reconstruction of the surface, but also covers the discretization with higher order elements and a higher order surface reconstruction.
Keywords:coupled bulk-surface problems, trace finite elements, surfactant transport
DOI: 10.1051/m2an/2015013
Publication:ESAIM: M2AN
Vol. 49 5, Sep.-Oct. 2015, Pages 1303 - 1330