The gradient flow structures of thermo-poro-visco-elastic processes in porous media
In this paper, the inherent gradient flow structures of thermo-poro-visco-elastic processes in porous media are examined for the first time. In the first part, a modelling framework is introduced aiming for describing such processes as generalized gradient flows requiring choices of physical states, corresponding energies, dissipation potentials and external work rates. It is demonstrated that various existing models can be in fact written within this framework. Ultimately, the particular
... ure allows for a unified well-posedness analysis performed for different classes of linear and non-linear models. In the second part, the gradient flow structures are utilized for constructing efficient discrete approximation schemes for thermo-poro-visco-elasticity -- in particular robust, physical splitting schemes. Applying alternating minimization to naturally arising minimization formulations of (semi-)discrete models is proposed. For such, the energy decrease per iteration is quantified by applying abstract convergence theory only utilizing convexity and Lipschitz continuity properties of the problem -- a fairly simple but flexible machinery. By this approach, e.g., the widely used undrained and fixed-stress splits for the linear Biot equations are derived and analyzed. By application of the framework to more advanced models, novel splitting schemes with guaranteed theoretical convergence rates are naturally derived. Moreover, based on the minimization character of the (semi-)discrete equations, relaxation of splitting schemes by line search is proposed; numerical results show a potentially great impact on the acceleration of splitting schemes for both linear and nonlinear problems.