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A multiscale restriction-smoothed basis method for high contrast porous media represented on unstructured grids


A wide variety of multiscale methods have been proposed in the literature to reduce runtime and provide better scaling for the solution of Poisson-type equations modeling flow in porous media. We present a new multiscale restricted-smoothed basis (MsRSB) method that is designed to be applicable to both rectilinear grids and unstructured grids. Like many other multiscale methods, MsRSB relies on a coarse partition of the underlying fine grid and a set of local prolongation operators (multiscale basis functions) that map unknowns associated with the fine grid cells to unknowns associated with blocks in the coarse partition. These mappings are constructed by restricted smoothing: Starting from a constant, a localized iterative scheme is applied directly to the fine-scale discretization to compute prolongation operators that are consistent with the local properties of the differential operators.

The resulting method has three main advantages: First of all, both the coarse and the fine grid can have general polyhedral geometry and unstructured topology. This means that partitions and good prolongation operators can easily be constructed for complex models involving high media contrasts and unstructured cell connections introduced by faults, pinch-outs, erosion, local grid refinement, etc. In particular, the coarse partition can be adapted to geological or flow-field properties represented on cells or faces to improve accuracy. Secondly, the method is accurate and robust when compared to existing multiscale methods and does not need expensive recomputation of local basis functions to account for transient behavior: Dynamic mobility changes are incorporated by continuing to iterate a few extra steps on existing basis functions. This way, the cost of updating the prolongation operators becomes proportional to the amount of change in fluid mobility and one reduces the need for expensive, tolerance-based updates. Finally, since the MsRSB method is formulated on top of a cell-centered, conservative, finite-volume method, it is applicable to any flow model in which one can isolate a pressure equation. Herein, we only discuss single and two-phase incompressible models. Compressible flow, e.g., as modeled by the black-oil equations, is discussed in a separate paper.


Academic article


  • Other / Schlumberger Information Solutions
  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 226035




  • SINTEF Digital / Mathematics and Cybernetics



Published in

Journal of Computational Physics








46 - 71

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