Velocity interpolation and streamline tracing on irregular geometries

Annette Stephansen
Centre for Integrated Petroleum Research
Bergen, Norway


Streamline tracing on irregular grids requires reliable interpolation of velocity fields. We propose a new method for direct streamline tracing on polygon and polytope cells. While some numerical methods provide a basis function that can be used for interpolation, other methods provide only the fluxes at the faces of the elements. We introduce the concept of full field and raw field methods. Full field methods have built-in interpolation, but are often not defined on general grids such as polygonal and polyhedral grids which we examine here. Also, reliability issues may arise on non-simplicial meshes in terms of not being able to reproduce constant velocity fields. We propose an interpolation in H(div) and H(curl) valid on general grids that is based on barycentric coordinates and that reproduces uniform flow. The interpolation can be used to compute the streamline directly on the complex cell geometry. The method generalizes to convex polytopes in 3D, with a restriction on the polytope topology near corners that is shown to be satisfied by several popular grid types. Numerical results confirm that the method is applicable to general grids and preserves uniform flow.

The work is done in collaboration with R. A. Klausen at CMA, University of Oslo, and A. F. Rasmussen at Sintef.