Iterative multiscale gradient computation for heterogeneous subsurface flow

Rafael Jesus de Moraes, Wessel de Zeeuw, José R. P. Rodrigues, Hadi Hajibeygi, Jan Dirk Jansen

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We introduce a semi-analytical iterative multiscale derivative computation methodology that allows for error control and reduction to any desired accuracy, up to fine-scale precision. The model responses are computed by the multiscale forward simulation of flow in heterogeneous porous media. The derivative computation method is based on the augmentation of the model equation and state vectors with the smoothing stage defined by the iterative multiscale method. In the formulation, we avoid additional complexity involved in computing partial derivatives associated to the smoothing step. We account for it as an approximate derivative computation stage. The numerical experiments illustrate how the newly introduced derivative method computes misfit objective function gradients that converge to fine-scale one as the iterative multiscale residual converges. The robustness of the methodology is investigated for test cases with high contrast permeability fields. The iterative multiscale gradient method casts a promising approach, with minimal accuracy-efficiency tradeoff, for large-scale heterogeneous porous media optimization problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-221
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Adjoint method
  • Direct method
  • Gradient computation
  • Iterative multiscale finite volume
  • Multiscale methods
  • Subsurface flow


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