Convergence of finite elements on an evolving surface driven by diffusion on the surface

Balázs Kovács, Buyang Li, Christian Lubich, Christian A. Power Guerra

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


For a parabolic surface partial differential equation coupled to surface evolution, convergence of the spatial semidiscretization is studied in this paper. The velocity of the evolving surface is not given explicitly, but depends on the solution of the parabolic equation on the surface. Various velocity laws are considered: elliptic regularization of a direct pointwise coupling, a regularized mean curvature flow and a dynamic velocity law. A novel stability and convergence analysis for evolving surface finite elements for the coupled problem of surface diffusion and surface evolution is developed. The stability analysis works with the matrix–vector formulation of the method and does not use geometric arguments. The geometry enters only into the consistency estimates. Numerical experiments complement the theoretical results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-689
Number of pages47
JournalNumerische Mathematik
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • 35R01
  • 65M12
  • 65M15
  • 65M60

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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