A practical method for solving free-surface seepage problems

Jean-Pierre Bardet, Tetsuo Tobita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Free-surface (unconfined) seepage problems are commonly encountered in geotechnical engineering. In these problems, the determination of the free surface usually requires sophisticated numerical techniques, unfamiliar to most engineers and students. Herein we present a practical finite difference method for unconfined seepage, which can be easily implemented in spreadsheets. The finite difference equations are based on the concepts of extended pressure and flux conservation. The method is illustrated by several free-surface seepage problems previously analyzed with more sophisticated numerical techniques. The proposed method eliminates the formation of matrix systems at the expenses of slower convergence rate for large problems. It has not only educational but also practical values as it applies to various engineering problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-475
Number of pages25
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Seepage
seepage
Geotechnical engineering
spreadsheet
Spreadsheets
geotechnical engineering
Difference equations
finite difference method
Finite difference method
Conservation
student
Students
Fluxes
Engineers
engineering
matrix
method

Keywords

  • Finite differences
  • Free surface
  • Permeability
  • Seepage
  • Spreadsheets
  • Unconfined flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

Cite this

A practical method for solving free-surface seepage problems. / Bardet, Jean-Pierre; Tobita, Tetsuo.

In: Computers and Geotechnics, Vol. 29, No. 6, 2002, p. 451-475.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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