Adaptive mixed-hybrid and penalty discontinuous Galerkin method for two-phase flow in heterogeneous media

Jiangyong Hou, Jie Chen, Shuyu Sun, Zhangxin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present a hybrid method, which consists of a mixed-hybrid finite element method and a penalty discontinuous Galerkin method, for the approximation of a fractional flow formulation of a two-phase flow problem in heterogeneous media with discontinuous capillary pressure. The fractional flow formulation is comprised of a wetting phase pressure equation and a wetting phase saturation equation which are coupled through a total velocity and the saturation affected coefficients. For the wetting phase pressure equation, the continuous mixed-hybrid finite element method space can be utilized due to a fundamental property that the wetting phase pressure is continuous. While it can reduce the computational cost by using less degrees of freedom and avoiding the post-processing of velocity reconstruction, this method can also keep several good properties of the discontinuous Galerkin method, which are important to the fractional flow formulation, such as the local mass balance, continuous normal flux and capability of handling the discontinuous capillary pressure. For the wetting phase saturation equation, the penalty discontinuous Galerkin method is utilized due to its capability of handling the discontinuous jump of the wetting phase saturation. Furthermore, an adaptive algorithm for the hybrid method together with the centroidal Voronoi Delaunay triangulation technique is proposed. Five numerical examples are presented to illustrate the features of proposed numerical method, such as the optimal convergence order, the accurate and efficient velocity approximation, and the applicability to the simulation of water flooding in oil field and the oil-trapping or barrier effect phenomena.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-283
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Computational and Applied Mathematics
StatePublished - Feb 5 2016

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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