We consider isotropic elastic wave propagation with continuous mass-lumped finite elements on tetrahedra with explicit time stepping. These elements require higher-order polynomials in their interior to preserve accuracy after mass lumping and are only known up to degree 3. Global assembly of the symmetric stiffness matrix is a natural approach but requires large memory. Local assembly on the fly, in the form of matrix-vector products per element at each time step, has a much smaller memory footprint. With dedicated expressions for local assembly, our code ran about 1.3 times faster for degree 2 and 1.9 times for degree 3 on a simple homogeneous test problem, using 24 cores. This is similar to the acoustic case. For a more realistic problem, the gain in efficiency was a factor 2.5 for degree 2 and 3 for degree 3. For the lowest degree, the linear element, the expressions for both the global and local assembly can be further simplified. In that case, global assembly is more efficient than local assembly. Among the three degrees, the element of degree 3 is the most efficient in terms of accuracy at a given cost.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-421
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Computational seismology, Wave equation, Numerical modelling

ID: 6807980