Multiscale finite volume method for discrete fracture modeling on unstructured grids (MS-DFM)

Sebastian Bosma, Hadi Hajibeygi, Matei Tene, Hamdi A. Tchelepi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


A novel multiscale method for discrete fracture modeling on unstructured grids (MS-DFM) is developed. To this end, the DFM fine-scale discrete system is constructed using unstructured conforming cells for the matrix with lower-dimensional fracture elements placed at their interfaces. On this unstructured fine grid, MS-DFM imposes independent unstructured coarse grids for the fracture and matrix domains. While the conservative coarse-scale system is solved over these coarse-grid cells, overlapping dual-coarse blocks are also formed in order to provide local supports for the multiscale basis functions. To increase the accuracy, but maintaining the computational efficiency, fracture-matrix coupling is considered only for the basis functions inside the matrix domain. This results in additional (enriching) fracture basis functions in the matrix. By construction, basis functions form the partition of unity for both fracture and matrix sub-domains. Furthermore, to enable error reduction to any desired level, a convergent iterative strategy is developed, where MS-DFM is employed along with a fine-scale smoother in order to resolve low- and high-frequency modes in the error. The performance of MS-DFM is assessed for several 2D and 3D test cases. The proposed method achieves accurate results for several test cases even without iterations, and for challenging ones with only a few iterations. MS-DFM is the first of its kind, and thus extends the application of multiscale methods to unstructured discrete fracture models. As such, it provides a promising framework for real-field application of unstructured DFM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-164
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2017


  • Multiscale finite volume
  • Unstructured grids
  • Discrete fracture modeling
  • Flow in fractured porous media
  • Algebraic multiscale methods


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