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Eric Morales
Mass Continuity in Deformable Media (Saturated Flow)
Lagrangian approach: Consider a reference volume O at time t
0
including a fixed volume
V
g
of incompressible soil “grains” (somehow we are following the bulk volume that
encompasses exactly the same volume of grains).
At t > t
0
the same grains will generally occupy a different volume O* due to soil
deformation.
Dibujos de t0 y t > t0 del volumen O
Fluid mass conservation (the volume V
g
is conserved by definition) requires
* *
* ( ) *
g
D
S d d
Dt
µ  µ
O I
O = ÷ ÷ · I
} }
q q n
where
g
D
Dt t
c
= + · V
c
q = Lagrangian derivative associated with V
g
S = fluid saturation, 0 s S s 1
 = porosity (variable)
q – q
g
= fluid flux relative to that of the grains
Apply Gauss divergence theorem
* *
* ( ) *
g
D
S d d
Dt
µ  µ
O O
( O = ÷ V· ÷ O
¸ ¸ } }
q q
In the limit as O* ÷ dO*
( ) * ( ) *
g
D
S d d
Dt
µ  µ ( O = ÷V· ÷ O
¸ ¸
q q
Note that we are leaving dO* inside the parenthesis since it is a time varying
infinitesimal volume, dO* = dV
v
+ dV
g
, although dV
g
is time invariant.
Define
V
g
V
e
V
= = void ratio = volume of voids / volume of grains.
From
1
1
1
g
V g
V
V V e
 ÷ = =
+ +
, it follows that
1
e
e
 =
+
* ( ) *
1
g
D e
S d d
Dt e
µ µ
 
( O = ÷V· ÷ O

¸ ¸
+
\ .
q q
Now
* * *(1 )
*
*
1 1 1
v g g
g
dV dV dV e
d
dV
e e e
+ +
O
= = =
+ + +
time constant, which leads to
Modelación Matemática de Aguas Subterráneas
Eric Morales
( )
1
( )
1
g
D
Se
Dt e
µ µ ( = ÷V· ÷
¸ ¸
+
q q
Using Darcy’s law
g
h ÷ = ÷ V q q K (assumes velocity of the grains is not too fast,
otherwise needs to couple a motion equation for the grains, as for example in clays and
peat where grain velocity may be important) leads to
( )  
1
1
D
Se h
Dt e
µ µ = V· V
+
K
Mass accumulation term
Now we will focus on
( )
1 1
1 1 1 1
D e D e DS De
Se S S
Dt e e Dt e Dt e Dt
µ
µ µ µ = + +
+ + + +
[fluid compressibility] + [saturation change] + [medium compressibility]
Saturation change (imbibition/drainage):
DS
Dt
Define
*
dS
C
d¢
= specific saturation capacity
Then
*
DS dS D D
C
Dt d Dt Dt
¢ ¢
¢
= =
Fluid compressibility:
D
Dt
µ
The compressibility of water is defined as
1
w
d
c
dP
µ
µ
÷
If c
w
= constant, then can integrate
0 0
'
'
'
P
w
P
d
c dP
µ
µ
µ
µ
=
} }
to get the following state equation
( )
0
0
w
c P P
e µ µ
÷
=
Usually P
0
is the atmospheric pressure and it is thus set to 0, P
0
= 0, so
0
w
c P
e µ µ =
Now define the pressure head as
0
0
'
( ')
P
P
dP
P
¢
¸
=
=
}
, which implies (by Leibnitz’s rule)
1
( )
d
dP P
¢
¸
=
Modelación Matemática de Aguas Subterráneas
Eric Morales
Therefore
w
D d dP D D
c
Dt dP d Dt Dt
µ µ ¢ ¢
µ ¸
¢
= =
Medium compressibility:
De
Dt
The common approach is limited to vertical deformation, following the 1D consolidation
theory of Terzaghi (1925). It assumes for equilibrium (vertical stresses on horizontal
surface)
e
P o o = ÷
where
e
o = effective (intergranular) stress
o = total stress (overburden pressure) = total weight (solids + water) + applied stress at
surface (for example weight of water in reservoir)
If o = constant = a, leads to a linear relation
e
a P o = ÷

Example: Hydrostatic case
We want to compute the effective stress on the horizontal plane at depth z = a + b
(dibujo)
1/
(1 )
1/ 1
g g g g
d g
T V g g
W W V
V V V V e
¸
¸  ¸ = = = = ÷
+ +
= dry unit weight
(1 )
1
g w g g w w g w
T g w
T V g
W W V V e
V V V e
¸ ¸ ¸ ¸
¸  ¸ ¸
+ + +
= = = = ÷ +
+ +
= total unit weight
where
V
w
= V
V
(saturation)
W = weight.
Subscripts refer to:
g
= grains,
V
= voids,
w
= water.
(1 ) (1 ) ( )(1 )
d T g g w g w
a b a b a b b o ¸ ¸  ¸  ¸ ¸  ¸ ¸ ( = + = ÷ + ÷ + = + ÷ +
¸ ¸
( )(1 )
e g w w
P a b b b o o  ¸ ¸ ¸ = ÷ = + ÷ + ÷
( )(1 ) ( 1)
e g w
a b b o  ¸ ¸  = + ÷ + ÷
[total solid weight] + [buoyant weight]
Buoyant weight = weight of water of the volume occupied by grains in the saturated
region Archimedes principle

The Terzaghi relation implies that, for o = constant,
e
P o A = ÷A . This seems to “work”
well for saturated unconsolidated sediments. In consolidated rocks (Robinson and
Holland, 197?) and unsaturated media only a part of P A converts into
e
o A (Bishop,
Modelación Matemática de Aguas Subterráneas
Eric Morales
1960; McMurdie and Day, 1960). Then
e
P o o _ = ÷ where 0 1 _ s s . _ is the
“boundary porosity” in the petroleum lingo or “Bishop’s parameter” in soils lingo . In
partially saturated media _ represents a measure of the fraction of pore surface in
contact with the fluid and is sometimes approximated as ( ) ( ) P S P _ ~ .
Figure. Variation of parameter χ with degree of saturation Sr for four compacted partially
saturated soils. Values were determined from triaxial compression tests. (From Bishop
and Blight, 1963). AW Bishop and GE Blight, Some aspects of effective stress in
saturated and partly saturated soils, Geotechnique,13, 177197 (1963).
Uniaxial consolidation tests provide lab relations between e and
e
o (or
10
log
e
o ). These
relations are obtained under equilibrium and disregard kinetics (assume
e
o A responds
instantaneously to P A ). Soils engineers define
v
e
de
a
do
= ÷ coefficient of compressibility (varies with applied stress
e
o )
Modelación Matemática de Aguas Subterráneas
Eric Morales
10
(log )
c
e
e
c
o
A
= ÷
A
compression index (best fit slope along virgin curve)
or
10 10
(ln )
(log ) (ln ) (log )
e e
c
e e e e
d d de de
c
d d d d
o o
o o o o
= ÷ = ÷ 2.303
c v e
c a o =
where
10
10
10
log
ln 2.303log
log
e
e e
e
o
o o = = and
1
(ln )
e e
e
e
e
d d
d
d
o o
o
o
o
=
c
s
= “swelling index”; best fit slope of rebound curve. Tipically c
s
<< c
c
.
Figuras de
e
o vs ¢ y de e vs
e
o in Cartesian and semilog plots
Returning to
De
Dt
we obtain ( )
e
v
e
D De de D
a P
Dt d Dt Dt
o
o _
o
= = ÷ ÷
( ) ( ) D P d P D dP d D
P
Dt d Dt d d Dt
_ _ ¢ _ ¢
_
¢ ¢ ¢
(
= = +
(
¸ ¸
d D d D
d Dt d Dt
_ ¢ _ ¢
_¸ ¢¸ ¸ _ ¢
¢ ¢
( (
= + = +
( (
¸ ¸ ¸ ¸
( )
'
D P D
Dt Dt
_ ¢
¸_ = ; ' _ = 1 for saturated unconsolidated media
' _ needs to be computed experimentally. Finally we obtain
'
v
De D D
a
Dt Dt Dt
¢ o
¸_
(
= ÷
(
¸ ¸
(Note: C.E. Jacob assumes o = constant)
Combined accumulation term:
Modelación Matemática de Aguas Subterráneas
Eric Morales
( ) ( )
*
' 1
1 1 1
v v
w
a S a S D D D
Se Sc C
Dt e e Dt e Dt
¸_ µ ¢ o
µ µ  ¸
(
= + + ÷
(
+ + +
¸ ¸
recall ( )
1 1
1 1 1 1
D e D e DS De
Se S S
Dt e e Dt e Dt e Dt
µ
µ µ µ = + +
+ + + +
For slight deformation q
g
÷ 0,
g
D
Dt t t
c c
= + · V ~
c c
q ; therefore
D
Dt t
¢ ¢ c
~
c
and, since
h z ¢ = + , leads to
h
t t
¢ c c
~
c c
( ) ( )
*
' 1
1 1 1
v v
w
a S a S D h
Se Sc C
Dt e e t e t
¸_ µ o
µ µ  ¸
c c (
~ + + ÷
(
+ + c + c
¸ ¸
Defining the specific storage
( )
*
'
1
v
s w
a S
S Sc C
e
¸_
 ¸ = + +
+
leads to the final form of the flow equation
 
1
v
s
a S h
h S
t e t
o
µ µ
c c (
V· V = ÷
(
c + c
¸ ¸
K
For slightly compressible liquids 0 µ V ~ and thus
 
1
v
s
a S h
h S
t e t
o c c
V· V = ÷
c + c
K
In the saturated zone (_’ = 1, C
*
= 0, S = 1)   (1 )
s w v
S c a ¸   = + ÷
In the unsaturated zone one commonly assumes ( )   ¢ = and imbibition/drainage
dominates, so
s
d
S C
d
u
¢
= = = specific moisture capacity
In hydrogeology one commonly treats S
s
as a constant except in problems involving land
subsidence.
Note that rapid variations in surface loading appear as a source term in the flow equation.
If o = constant, 0
t
o c
=
c
and the flow equation simplifies to
 
s
h
h S
t
c
V· V =
c
K
For incompressible fluid in rigid saturated media and/or steady state
  0 h V· V = K
Modelación Matemática de Aguas Subterráneas
Eric Morales
Alternative expressions for S
s
The form of S
s
depends on the definition of medium compressibility
(Gambolati, 1973)
Define
µ
g
= density of grains (constant)
1
g
gb
e
µ
µ =
+
= bulk density of grains
1
gb
b
gb e
d
c
d
µ
µ o
= = bulk medium compresibility
But
2
1 (1 ) 1
gb g g gb
e e e e
d
d de de
d d e e d e d
µ µ µ µ
o o o o
 
= = ÷ = ÷

+ + +
\ .
which leads to
1
1
b
e
de
c
e do
= ÷
+
or
1
v
b
a
c
e
=
+
 
s w b
S c c ¸  = +
Note:
( ) ( ) 1
1 1
b b b
b
b b
b b e e b e
d V d V dV
c V
V d d V d
µ
µ o o o
= = = ÷ . If o = constant,
1
b
b
b
dV
c
V dP
=
Thus,
b
c o ÷ of Bear (1979, pp. 8586)
Under yet another definition of medium compressibility
1
V
V
V
dV
c
V dP
= ; V
V
= volume of voids
Then
( ) 1 1 V g
V
V
V g
d V V
a de
c
V V dP e dP e
= = = , but
1 1
v
b V V
a e
c c c
e e
 = = =
+ +
, therefore
 
s w V
S c c ¸ = +
which is common in the petroleum literature
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