We have investigated the use of the adaptive high-order finite-element method (FEM) for geoelectromagnetic modeling. Because high-order FEM is challenging from the numerical and computational points of view, most published finite-element studies in geoelectromagnetics use the lowest order formulation. Solution of the resulting large system of linear equations poses the main practical challenge. We have developed a fully parallel and distributed robust and scalable linear solver based on the optimal block-diagonal and auxiliary space preconditioners. The solver was found to be efficient for high finite element orders, unstructured and nonconforming locally refined meshes, a wide range of frequencies, large conductivity contrasts, and number of degrees of freedom (DoFs). Furthermore, the presented linear solver is in essence algebraic; i.e., it acts on the matrix-vector level and thus requires no information about the discretization, boundary conditions, or physical source used, making it readily efficient for a wide range of electromagnetic modeling problems. To get accurate solutions at reduced computational cost, we have also implemented goal-oriented adaptive mesh refinement. The numerical tests indicated that if highly accurate modeling results were required, the high-order FEM in combination with the goal-oriented local mesh refinement required less computational time and DoFs than the lowest order adaptive FEM.

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