Civil and Environmental Engineering


Date of this Version



Published in PHYSICAL REVIEW E 72, 046711 (2005). Copyright © 2005 The American Physical Society. Used by permission.


A numerical model of the lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) utilizing least-squares finite-element method in space and the Crank–Nicolson method in time is developed. This method is able to solve fluid flow in domains that contain complex or irregular geometric boundaries by using the flexibility and numerical stability of a finite-element method, while employing accurate least-squares optimization. Fourth-order accuracy in space and second-order accuracy in time are derived for a pure advection equation on a uniform mesh; while high stability is implied from a von Neumann linearized stability analysis. Implemented on unstructured mesh through an innovative element-by-element approach, the proposed method requires fewer grid points and less memory compared to traditional LBM. Accurate numerical results are presented through two-dimensional incompressible Poiseuille flow, Couette flow, and flow past a circular cylinder. Finally, the proposed method is applied to estimate the permeability of a randomly generated porous media, which further demonstrates its inherent geometric flexibility.