On the preconditioned Newton’s method for Richards’ equation

Konstantin Brenner: Thursday, 11th May at 11:00


Richards’ equation is arguably the most popular hydrogeological flow model, which can be used to predict the underground water movement under both saturated and unsaturated conditions. However, despite its importance for hydrogeological applications, this equation is infamous for being difficult to solve numerically. Indeed, depending on the flow parameters, the resolution of the systems arising after the discretization may become an extremely challenging task, as the linearization schemes such as Picard or Newton’s methods may fail or exhibit unacceptably slow convergence. In this presentation, I will first give a brief overview of Richards’ equation both from the hydrogeological and mathematical perspectives. Then we will discuss the nonlinear preconditioning strategies that can be used to improve the performance of Newton’s method. In this regard, I will present some traditional techniques involving the primary variables substitution as well as some recent ones based on the nonlinear Jacobi or block Jacobi preconditioning. The later family of (block) Jacobi-Newton methods turn out to be a very attractive option as they allow for the global convergence analysis in the framework of the Monotone Newton Theorem.

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