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Title: Adaptive large-scale mantle convection simulations
Authors: Cox, Samuel Peter
Supervisors: Georgoulis, Emmanuil
Cangiani, Andrea
Award date: 23-Mar-2017
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: The long-term motion of the Earth's mantle is of considerable interest to geologists and geodynamists in explaining the evolution of the planet and its internal and surface history. The inaccessible nature of the mantle necessitates the use of computer simulations to further our understanding of the processes underlying the motion of tectonic plates. Numerical methods employed to solve the equations describing this motion lead to linear systems of a size which stretch the current capabilities of supercomputers to their limits. Progress towards the satisfactory simulation of this process is dependent upon the use of new mathematical and computational ideas in order to bring the largest problems within the reach of current computer architectures. In this thesis we present an implementation of the discontinuous Galerkin method, coupled to a more traditional finite element method, for the simulation of this system. We also present an a posteriori error estimate for the convection-diffusion equation without reaction, using an exponential fitting technique and artificial reaction to relax the restrictions upon the derivative of the convection field that are usually imposed within the existing literature. This error bound is used as the basis of an h-adaptive mesh refinement strategy. We present an implementation of the calculation of this bound alongside the simulation and the indicator, in a parallelised C++ code, suitable for use in a distributed computing setting. Finally, we present an implementation of the discontinuous Galerkin method into the community code ASPECT, along with an adaptivity indicator based upon the proven a posteriori error bound. We furnish both implementations with numerical examples to explore the applicability of these methods to a number of circumstances, with the aim of reducing the computational cost of large mantle convection simulations.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, Dept. of Mathematics

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