Hybrid finite difference–finite element method to incorporate topography and bathymetry for two-dimensional magnetotelluric modeling

Weerachai Sarakorn, Chatchai Vachiratienchai
2018 Earth, Planets and Space  
In this research, a new numerical method, called the hybrid finite difference-finite element (hybrid FD-FE) method, is developed to solve 2-D magnetotelluric modeling by taking advantage of both the finite difference (FD) and finite element (FE) methods. With the hybrid FD-FE method, the model is first discretized as rectangular blocks and separated into two zones: the FD and FE zones. The FD zone is set for the subregions where topography or bathymetry does not appear. The FD approximation,
more » ... ch is fast, accurate and requires less memory resources, is then applied. For the FE zones where topography or bathymetry exists, the rectangular blocks are transformed into quadrilateral elements to handle the topography or bathymetry appropriately. Then, the FE approximation with quadrilateral elements, which is more accurate for topography or bathymetry zones, is applied. The system of equations for the hybrid FD-FE method is then formed according to the FD and FE schemes. The obtained system is a combination of the FD and FE equations. Three numerical methods are applied to test models with and without topography and bathymetry. The accuracy and efficiency in terms of errors, computational time and memory storage are presented, compared and discussed. The numerical experiments indicate that the FD scheme has a shorter computational time than the other schemes when modeling without topography and retains accuracy equivalent to that of the FE method, whereas FE is more practical when modeling with topography and bathymetry. However, our proposed hybrid FD-FE method is efficient in both situations. Without topography or bathymetry, its efficiency and accuracy approach those of the FD scheme. With topography and bathymetry, the hybrid FD-FE method is as accurate as FE, but its speed is slightly slower than that of FD. In terms of memory storage, the hybrid FD-FE method consumes slightly more storage than the FD method. This hybrid FD-FE method can be further extended and implemented for 3-D magnetotelluric modeling for more efficient computation. which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
doi:10.1186/s40623-018-0876-7 fatcat:feofqy6njzgydjj7x6opumabiq