New analysis of mixed FEMs for dynamical incompressible magnetohydrodynamics

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327–358
Journal / PublicationNumerische Mathematik
Issue number2-3
Online published29 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


This paper focuses on a new error analysis and a recovering technique of frequently-used mixed FEMs for a dynamical incompressible magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) system. The methods use the standard inf-sup stable Taylor–Hood/MINI velocity-pressure space pairs to solve the Navier–Stokes equations and the Nédélec’s edge element for solving the magnetic field. We establish new and optimal error estimates. In particular, we prove that the method provides the optimal accuracy for the MINI element in L2-norm and for the Taylor-Hood element in H1-norm. The analysis is based on a modified Maxwell projection and the corresponding estimates in negative norms, while all the existing analysis is not optimal due to the strong coupling of system and the pollution of the lower-order Nédélec’s edge approximation in analysis. In addition, at any given time step, we develop a simple recovery technique for numerical approximation to the magnetic field of one order higher accuracy in the spatial direction. © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2022