WIAS Preprint No. 1821, (2013)

Efficient linear solvers for incompressible flow simulations using Scott--Vogelius finite elements


  • Cousins, Benjamin
  • Le Borne, Sabine
  • Linke, Alexander
    ORCID: 0000-0002-0165-2698
  • Rebholz, Leo G.
  • Wang, Zhen

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 76D07 65F05 65F08


  • Scott-Vogelius elements, linear solvers, static condensation, augmented Lagrangian preconditioning, H-LU




Recent research has shown that in some practically relevant situations like multiphysics flows (Galvin et al., Comput Methods Appl Mech Eng, 2012) divergence-free mixed finite elements may have a significantly smaller discretization error than standard nondivergence-free mixed finite elements. To judge the overall performance of divergence-free mixed finite elements, we investigate linear solvers for the saddle point linear systems arising in Scott-Vogelius finite element implementations of the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations. We investigate both direct and iterative solver methods. Due to discontinuous pressure elements in the case of Scott-Vogelius (SV) elements, considerably more solver strategies seem to deliver promising results than in the case of standard mixed finite elements such as Taylor-Hood elements. For direct methods, we extend recent preliminary work using sparse banded solvers on the penalty method formulation to finer meshes and discuss extensions. For iterative methods, we test augmented Lagrangian and H -LU preconditioners with GMRES, on both full and statically condensed systems. Several numerical experiments are provided that show these classes of solvers are well suited for use with SV elements and could deliver an interesting overall performance in several applications.

Appeared in

  • Numer. Methods Partial Differential Equations, 29 (2013) pp. 1217--1237.

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