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Preprint-No.: <   403   >   Published in: July 2014   PDF-File: IGPM403.pdf
Title:A Higher Order Finite Element Method for Partial Differential Equations on Surfaces
Authors:Jörg Grande, Arnold Reusken
A new higher order finite element method for elliptic partial differential equations on a stationary smooth surface Γ is introduced and analyzed. We assume Γ is characterized as the zero level of a level set function φ and only a finite element approximation φh (of degree k ≥ 1) of φ is known. For the discretization of the partial differential equation, finite elements (of degree m ≥ 1) on a piecewise linear approximation of Γ are used. The discretization is lifted to Γh, which denotes the zero level of φh, using a quasi-orthogonal coordinate system that is constructed by applying a gradient recovery technique to φh.
A complete discretization error analysis is presented in which the error is split into a geometric error, a quadrature error, and a finite element approximation error. The main result is a H1 (Γ)- error bound of the form c(hm + hk+1). Results of numerical experiments illustrate the higher order convergence of this method.
Keywords:Laplace Beltrami equation, surface finite element method, high order, gradient recovery, error analysis
DOI: 10.1137/14097820X
Publication:SIAM J. Numer. Anal., 54(1), 388–414. (27 pages)