14-17 May 2018
New Orleans
US/Central timezone

Applications of standard and mixed Virtual Elements to the simulation of physical phenomena in poro-fractured media

17 May 2018, 11:23
New Orleans

New Orleans

Oral 20 Minutes MS 2.03: Challenges in flow and transport simulations in poro-fractured media: numerical methods and modeling Parallel 10-C


Andrea Borio (Politecnico di Torino)


When dealing with poro-fractured media, performing efficient simulations of
physical phenomena such as the transport of contaminants, subsidence or com-
puting the hydraulic head distribution can be very challenging due to the high
number of possible geometrical configurations that have to be taken into ac-
count. Recently, the flexibility of the Virtual Element Method in dealing with
complex geometries has been exploited in order to successfully tackle the mesh
generation issues that arise when performing simulations on Discrete Fracture
Networks [1–4], that represent the fractures inside rocks as sets of planar poly-
gons intersecting each other in space. These networks are usually randomly
generated starting from statistic distributions of the physical properties of the
soil and fractures can thus intersect with all sort of configurations, including,
for example, the case of intersections that are parallel but very close to each
other, or intersect with very small angles. The proposed strategies start from
triangulations that are generated independently of intersections and are cut
into polygons by the intersections. This allows to apply standard domain de-
composition techniques (suitable for a parallel implementation of the code) and
to discretize each fracture independently, possibly using different approaches:
standard and mixed Virtual Elements have been used, obtaining solutions that
can be either strongly or weakly continuous, and very good approximations of
the fluxes that enter or leave each fracture at intersections.


[1] M. F. Benedetto, S. Berrone, and A. Borio. “The Virtual Element Method for underground flow simulations in fractured media”. In: Advances in Discretization Methods. Vol. 12. SEMA SIMAI Springer Series. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing, 2016, pp. 167–186. doi: 10.1007/978-
[2] M.F. Benedetto, S. Berrone, and S. Scialò. “A Globally Conforming Method For Solving Flow in Discrete Fracture Networks using the Virtual Element Method”. In: Finite Elem. Anal. Des. 109 (2016), pp. 23–36. doi: 10.1016/j.finel.2015.10.003.
[3] M.F. Benedetto et al. “A Hybrid Mortar Virtual Element Method For Discrete Fracture Network Simulations”. In: J. Comput. Phys. 306 (2016), pp. 148–166. doi: 10.1016/j.jcp.2015.11.034.
[4] Matı́as Fernando Benedetto, Andrea Borio, and Stefano Scialò. “Mixed Virtual Elements for Discrete Fracture Network simulations”. In: Finite Elements in Analysis & Design 134 (2017), pp. 55–67. doi: 10.1016/j.finel.2017.05.011.

Acceptance of Terms and Conditions Click here to agree

Primary authors

Andrea Borio (Politecnico di Torino) Stefano Berrone (Politecnico di Torino, Italy) Dr Stefano Scialo (Politecnico di Torino) Dr Matìas Fernando Benedetto (University of Buenos Aires) Dr Sandra Pieraccini (Politecnico di Torino)

Presentation Materials

There are no materials yet.