A new finite element method for elliptic interface problems

Abstract: A finite element based numerical method for the two-dimensional elliptic interface problems is presented. Due to presence of these interfaces the problem will contain discontinuities in the coefficients and singularities in the right hand side that are represented by delta functionals along the interface. As a result, the solution to the interface problem and its derivatives may have jump discontinuities. The introduced method is specifically designed to handle this features of the solution using non-body fitted grids, i.e. the grids are not aligned with the interfaces. The main idea is to modify the standard basis function in the vicinity of the interface such that the jump conditions are well approximated. The resulting finite element space is, in general, non-conforming. The interface itself is represented by a set of Lagrangian markers together with a parametric description connecting them. To illustrate the abilities of the method, numerical tests are presented. For all the considered test problems, the introduced method has been shown to have super-linear or second order of convergence. Our approach is also compared with the standard finite element method. Finally, the method is applied to the interface Stokes problem, where the interface represents an elastic stretched band immersed in fluid. Since we assume the fluid to be homogeneous, the Stokes equations are reduced to a sequence of three Poisson problems that are solved with our method. The numerical results agree well with those found in the literature.