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CHAPTER 7

Engineers are often interested in knowing the direction and quantity of flow through porous media. The pore pressure variations resulting from the flow process are also of interest. This information is required in predicting the volume change and shear strength change associated with the flow of water or air. Chapter 5 outlined the driving potentials and the flow laws that govern the behavior of water flow, air flow, and air diffision through water. The hydraulic properties of the soil with respect to each fluid phase were given in terms of coefficients of permeability. These properties are required in the application of the flow laws to engineering problems. In Chapter 6, various methods commonly used to obtain coefficients of permeability were described. This chapter presents the application of the flow laws and the associated coefficients of permeability to the analysis of practical seepage problems. The analysis is performed for air and water flow under isothermal conditions. The effect of air diffision through water, air dissolving into water, and the movement of water vapor are not given consideration. Seepage problems are usually categorized as steady-state or unsteady-state flow analyses. For steady-state analyses, the hydraulic head and the coefficient of permeability at any point in the soil mass =main constant with respect to time. For unsteady-state flow analyses, the hydraulic head (and possibly the coefficient of permeability) change with respect to time. Changes m usually in response to a change in the boundary conditions with respect to time. Steadystate flow analyses are considered in this chapter. The quantity of flow of an incompressible fluid such as water IS expressed in terms of a flux, q. Flux is equal to a flow rate, o, multiplied by a cross-sectional area, A. On the other hand, the quantity of flow of a compressible fluid such as air is usually expressed in terms of a mass rate. The governing partial differential seepage equations are derived in a manner consistent with the conservation of mass. The conservation of mass for steady-state seepage of an incompressible fluid dictates that the flux into an element must equal the flux out of an element. In other words, the
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Co py rig hte dM ate ria l
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Steady-State Flow

net flux must be zero at any point in the soil mass. For a compressible fluid, the net mass rate through an element must be zero in order to satisfy the conservation of mass for steady-state seepage conditions.

7.1 STEADY-STATE WATER F'LOW

The slow movement of water through soil is commonly referred to as seepage or percolation. Seepage analyses may form an important part of studies related to slope stability, groundwater contamination control, and earth dam design. Seepage analyses involve the computation of the rate and direction of water flow and the pore-water pressure distributions within the flow regime. The flow of water in the saturated zone has been the primary concern in conventional seepage analyses. However, water flow in the unsaturated zone is of increasing interest to engineers. For example, the seepage through a dam has commonly been analyzed by considering only the zone below an empirically computed line of seepage (Casagrande, 1937). Recent studies have illustrated that there is a continuous flow of water between the saturated and unsaturated zones, as shown in Fig. 7.l(a) (Freeze, 1971; Papagiannakis and Fredlund, 1984). Another example is shown in Fig. 7.1(b), which illustrates the effect of infiltration and evaporation on the phreatic surface within a slope. A constant water flux across the surface boundary may develop a steady-state water flux through the unsaturated zone of the slope. Water flow through unsaturated soils is governed by the same law as flow through saturated soils (Le., Darcy's law). The main difference is that the water coefficient of permeability is assumed to be a constant for saturated soils, while it must be assumed to be a function of suction, water content, or some other variable for unsaturated soils. Also, the pore-water pressure generally has a positive gauge value in a saturated soil and a negative gauge value in an unsaturated soil. In spite of these differences, the formulation of the partial differential flow equation is similar in

7.1 STEADY-STATEWATER FLOW

151

largest permeability, and is called the minor coefficient of permeability.
Saturated zone Horizontal drain

l l l l i
Rainfall

\ \
Saturated zone

Figure 7.1 Examples involving flow through unsaturated soils. (a) Water flow in the saturated and unsaturated zones of an earth dam; (b) water flow across the boundary of a slope.

both cases. There is also a smooth transition when going from the unsaturated to the saturated case (Fredlund, 1981).

7.1.1 Variation of Coefecient of Permeability with Space for an Unsaturated S o i l For steady-state seepage analyses, the coefficient of perme-

ability is a constant with respect to time at each point in a soil. However, the coefficient of permeability usually varies from one point to another in an unsaturated soil. A spatial variation in permeability in a saturated soil can be attributed to a heterogeneous distribution of the soil solids. For unsaturated soils, it is more appropriate to consider the heterogeneous volume distribution of the pore-fluid (Le., pore-water). This is the main reason for a spatial variation in the coefficient of permeability. Although the soil solid distribution may be homogeneous, the pore-fluid volume distribution can be heterogeneous due to spatial variations in matric suction. A point with a high matric suction (or a low water content) has a lower water coefficient of permeability than a point having a low matric suction. Several functional relationships between the water coefficient of permeability and matric suction [Le., k,(u, uw)]or volumetric water content [i.e., kw(Ow)]have been described in Chapter 5. Coefficientsof permeability for different points in a soil are obtained from the permeability function. The magnitude of the coefficient of permeability depends on the matric suction (or water content). In addition, the coefficient of permeability at a point may vary with respect to direction. This condition is referred to as anisotropy. The largest coefficient of permeability is called the major coefficient of permeability. The smallest coefficient of permeability is in a direction perpendicular to the

Co py rig hte dM ate ria l
Water table

Evaporation

b
(b)

Heterogeneous, Isohpic Steady-State Seepage Permeability conditions in unsaturated soils can be classified into three groups, as illustrated in Fig. 7.2. This classification is based on the pattern of permeability variation. A soil is called heterogeneous, isotropic if the coefficient , , is equal to the coefof permeability in the xdiwtion, k ficient of permeability in the y-direction at any point within the soil mass (Le., k , = ,& , at A and & , = kY at B) [see Fig. 7.2(a)]. However, the magnitude of the coefficient of permeability can vary from point A to point B, depending upon the matric suction in the soil. The variation in the coefficient of permeability with respect to matric suction is often assumed to follow a single-valued functional relationship.

Heterogeneous, Anisohpic Steady-State Seepage Figure 7.2(b) illustrates the heterogeneous, anisotropic case. Here, the ratio of the coefficient of permeability in the xdirection, k , , to the coefficient of permeability in the y-direction, ky,is a constant at any point (i.e., (&,/ky) at A

‘I

(C)

Figure 7.2 Coefficient of pemeability variations in an unsaturated soil. (a) Heterogeneous, isotropic conditions; (b) heterogeneous, anisotropic conditions; (c) continuous variation in permeability with space.

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the gravitational head plus the pore-water pressure head) is zero throughout the soil profile. qw = 0). The permeability ratio (kx/ky)may not be a constant from one location to another (Le. and likewise the hydraulic gradient. An assumption is made that the water table remains at a constant elevation. the soil surface would be exposed to the environment. The following steady-state seepage formulations deal with the heterogeneous.3. line 1). The hydraulic head changes to a negative value since the gravitational head remains constant..(u. . The pore-water pressures are negative under static equilibrium conditions with respect to the water table.(-uw). 7. The hydraulic head profile starts with a positive value at ground surface and decreases to zero at the water table. The hydraulic head has a nonlinear distribution from a zero value at the water table to a more negative value at ground surface..2(c)].can also vary with matric suction from one location to another. If the cover were removed from the ground surface. in which the surface cover prevents any vertical flow of water from the ground surface. Environmental changes could produce flow in a vertical direction. The upward constant flux of water is designated as positive for steady-state evaporation. The neg- Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Steady-state infiltration (-) = (k.3. has the same absolute value as the permeability function with respect to pore-water pressure. Steady-state infiltration causes a downward water flow. 3 Static equilibrium and steady-state flow conditions in the zone of negative pore-water pressures. The case where there is a continuous variation in permeability with space requires further study and is not presented in this text.3. Its magnitude is equal to the gravitational head (i. negative flux for steady-state infiltration. water flows from the water table upward to the ground surface.e.. the hydraulic head (Le. as illustrated by line 2 in Fig.knovel. The magnitude of the coefficients of permeability.1.2 One-Dimensional Flow There are numerous situations where the water flow is predominantly in one direction.152 7 STEADY-STATE FLOW 7. is equal to zero. k. The nonlinearity of the hydraulic head profile is caused by the spatial variation in the coefficient of permeability. In other words. Let us consider a covered ground surface. with the water table located at a specified depth as shown in Fig. and subsequently alter the negative pore-water pressure head profile. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. Therefore. In other words. elevation head) measured relative to the water table. isotropic and heterogeneous. but their ratio is assumed t o remain constant./ky) at B = a constant not equal to unity). 0 (+I Pore-water pressure head distribution Figure 7 .) at A # (kx/ky)at B). and different directions may have different permeability functions. 7. Where the equilibrium poreair pressure is atmospheric. there can be no flow of water in the vertical direction (Le.. Therefore. 7. All of the steady-state seepage analyses assume that the pore-air pressure has reached a constant equilibrium value. Anisotropic conditions can also be oriented in any two perpendicular directions. Water flows in the direction of the decreasing hydraulic head. The third case is where there is a continuous variation in the coefficient of permeability [Fig. and ky. This condition is indicated by line 3 in Fig.com ../k. The general case of any orientation for the major coefficientof permeability is not considered in the following formulations.. This means that the change in head. (k. ative pore-water pressure head has a linear distribution with depth (Le. 7. the water coefficient of permeability function with respect to matric suction. water flows downward with a constant. Steady-stateevaporation would cause the pore-water pressures to become more negative. k. anisotropic cases. k.uw). The negative pore-water pressure increases from the static equilibrium condition.

u. k. In the laboratory measurement of the coefficient of permeability./dy = change in water coefficient of permeability in the y-direction due to a change in matric suction. The steady-state pmedure for measuring the water coefficient of permeability in the laboratory is also a one-dimensional flow example. where k. as illustrated in Chapter 6 . If the saturated soil is heterogeneous(e. dy..4).5) where k. If a saturated soil is homogeneous. u. (7. dy. A comparison of Eqs. As a result.4) and (7. constant coefficient of permeability into Eq.com .5) reveals a similar form.4 One-dimensional water flow through an unsaturated soil element. d Y (7. the hydraulic heads are controlled as boundary conditions at the top and bottom of the soil specimen. However. and & gives the following nonlinear differential equation: dh + dy-. however.. =0 k. dy.) term will be written as k .(u. 7 d Y d Y d Y Substituting Darcy's law into the above equation yields + - (7. the nonlinearity in the unsaturated soil flow equation produces the same form of equation as that required for a heterogeneous.layered soil).5) Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. giving a fixed zero pore-water pressure head. In other words.4) where dk. the flow equation can be written as follows: d'h. In a saturated soil..(u. dz = dimensions in the x-. dk dh. where u. for simplicity. the heterogeneous distribution of the soil solids is the primary factor producing a varying coefficient of permeability. The net flow can be written as follows: 5 dx dy dz = 0. the coefficient of permeability also varies. the water coefficient of permeability.j~.3) and considering the nonzero dimensions for ah.e. Techniques to analyze both head and flux boundary conditions are explained in the following sections. . Since matric suction varies from one location to another. . k .2) The nonlinearity of Eq. = hydraulic head (i. 7. Equation (7.) = water coefficient of permeability as a function of matric suction which varies with location in the ydirection dhw/dy = hydraulic head gradient in the y-direction h. will again vary with respect to location. (7. the coefficient of permeability. The element has infinitesimaldx. k. and z-directions. The flow rate.knovel. (7. and dz dimensions. = saturated coefficient of permeability.7. is assumed to be positive when water flows upward in the y-direction. dz Figure 7.-g d2hw Q%vy The above one-dimensional flow cases involve flux boundary conditions. gravitational head plus pore-water pressure head).3) can be used to solve for the hydraulic head distribution in the y-direction through a soil mass. for the remainder of the formulation.g . the k. the coefficient of permeability is constant for the soil mass. Substituting a nonzero. =0 (7. A steady rate of evaporation or infiltration can be used as the boundary condition at ground surface. Soil thickness.u. (7.1 STEADY-STATE WATER FLOW 153 Formulation for One-Dimensional Plow Consider an unsaturated soil element with one-dimensional water flow in the y-direction (Fig. Rewriting Eq. In an unsaturated soil. Continuity requires that the volume of water flowing in and out of the element must be equal for steadystate conditions: Co py rig hte dM ate ria l k. When the soil becomes saturated. The water table acts as the lower boundary condition.4) is caused by its second term. which accounts for the variation in permeability with respect to space. saturated coefficient of permeability. the variation in the coefficient of permeability is caused by the heterogeneous distribution of the pore-fluid volume occurring as a result of different matric suction values.. y-. can be taken as being equal to a single-valued. dx.. saturated soil. = water flow rate across a unit area of the soil in the y-direction respectively..

= hydraulic head at the top of the soil column h.8) where where C. The water coefficient of permeability is assumed to be constant throughout the column.y The differential equation for one-dimensional steady-state flow through a homogeneous.6)] can be solved by integrating the equation twice. These distributions can be used to compute the hydraulic heads. saturated soil [Le. (7. + c. C.. points with equal hydraulic head of 0.1 M 7 STEADY-STATEFLOW produces a linear differential equation: d2hw -dy2 The hydraulic heads at the top and the base of the column constitute the boundary conditions for this problem: (7.10) Water Saturatec soil The hydraulic head can be seen to vary linearly with depth.. (7. Eq. Therefore.7) gives the constants of integration. (7.] = 0). and C2: c.0 h..com .9) The hydraulic head distribution can now be written as follows: h.. equal to hpl at the base of the column (e.5 One-dimensional steady-state water f l o w through a saturated homogeneous soil.. = 1 + -hPn h8. The result is a linear equation for the hydraulic head distribution in the y-direction: hWl= hydraulic head at the base of the soil column h . saturated soil.e.knovel. These lines are called equipotential lines. = c. at y equal to 0. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www.8) into Eq. The water pressure head distribution is also linear.5). = pore-water pressure head at the top of the soil column. equal to hBIat the base of the column (e.C2 = constants of integration that can be determined for specified boundary conditions y = distance in the y-direction. and hpnat the top of the column..l = 0.. Solutionfor One-Dimensional How + hP.1 h draulic heads can be plotted as a horizontal line at each depth. If the column is divided into ten depth intervals. each interval represents a change in hy. and a value of zero at the bottom of the soil column (Fig.0 (base) Equations similar to Eq... at the top of the column. at y equal to h.and z-directions... h 1 "W" Figure 7. Co py rig hte dM ate ria l h.om h.g. A constant water pressure head is applied to the top of the soil column to establish a downward flow of water.0. (7. . plus hp. hpl = 0). (top) (7. (7. 7. (i. c. The pore- * hwn I table 0 (+I Head. (7.6) .. = gravitational head at the top of the soil column h. The gravitational head distribution along the soil column is linear. and h. h.7) Substituting the boundary conditions specified in Eq. h. = h.5 illustrates the case of one-dimensional steadystate flow through a homogeneous. = (1 + 2) y. (7.g.. = 0. The position of the water table at the base of the column is considered as the datum. It has a value of h .) at the top of the soil column. Figure 7..6)can also be derived for one-dimensional flow in the x..

A numerical solution can be used as an alternative to a closed-form solution.13) and (7. in the xdirection. i.1. can be rearranged after assuming equal Equation (7. as shown in Fig. The finite difference method will be used to illustrate the solution to the flow equation for an unsaturated soil. varies in space.14) Equations (7. 4 )can be written in a finite difference form for point (i): ..(i + 1 ) I Yi. dy3 i water pressure head. Similar approximations can be derived for a function.e.12)and again neglecting the higher order derivatives gives the second derivative of the function at point (0: ($)i = hi+l + hi-1 . (i . One-dirnensional.14). A central difference approximation is then applied to the hydraulic head and coefficient of permeability derivatives in Eq. 7.7. at point i.2Ay ' (7. Eq. h. h( y).av'av. 7 . The use of an iterative finite difference technique in solving flow problems is illustrated in the following sections. 4 ) . Consider the situation where a function. 7 ) .15) where kwy(r3. while another illustrates the use of a flux boundary condition. (7.12) the higher order derivatives result in the first derivative of the function at point (i): ($)i Co py rig hte dM ate ria l (s).l ) .A tensiometer is installed near the ground surface to measure the negative pore-water pressure.15) Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www... (7.. h(x). kV(i- kv(i+ = water coefficients of perme- h. + Figure 7. ( 7 . +e (e) 2! -&ye) .hi+l . (7. One example involves the use of a head boundary condition. Ay. h( y). (7.l ) . h.11)and neglecting Subtracting Eq. (7.6 Function h ( y ) shown in a finite difference form.1 STEADY-STATE WATER FLOW 155 M i t e Dztfcrence Method The seepage differential equation can be written in a finite difference form. and (i l). from Eq.6. hp.13) (7. steady-state flow is assumed when the tensiometer reading remains constant with respect to time.I). and (i + l ) .12) 3! ' Ay dy2 + * .knovel.11)and (7. respectively = hydraulic heads at points (i).11) hi (t).For example. The hydraulic head distribution along the length of the column is given by Q. . 7.Values of the function at points along the curve can be computed using Taylor series: h i + l = hi + AY hi- 1 where i .7.The column length is first discretized into (n) equally spaced nodal points at a distance Ay apart (Fig. ( 7 . These approximations can be used to solve the differential equation.(. the water table) is equal to zero. The linearity in the hydraulic head and the pore-water pressure head distributions is the result of the conswt water coefficients of permeability.2hi AY (7. Yi Yet1 Y ability in the ydirection at points (i). ( 7 .+. . 4 ) . respectively. Head Boundary Condition Steady-state evapomtion from a column of unsaturated soil is illustrated in Fig. Summing Eqs. (i .14)are called the central difference approximations for the first and second derivatives of the function.13)and (7.This equation can be solved using the finite difference approximations in Eqs. 4 ) ]requires a more complex solution than that for a saturated soil.hi-1 . ( 7 .1 . i + 1 = three consecutive points spaced at increments. The pore-water pressure at the base of the column (i.e. distribution is linear under steadystate seepageconditions. Eq. (7.com .. The equation for one-dimensional steady-state flow through an unsaturated soil [i. + Ay2 d2h ($)i = +$($)>.

hp.-~)} I) + (4 = 0. The elevation of point (n)relative to the datum. The nonlinear equations require several iterations to produce convergence.The tensiometer reading near the ground surface indicates the negative pore-water pressure head at point (n) (Le. kw. For the first iteration. The hydraulic head at point 1 is zero. (7.16)1 can be written for the (n .7 One-dimensional. (n . The equipotential lines are not equally spaced along the column...2) internal points [i. (7. each equation is assumed to be linear by setting the water coefficients of permeability at each node to a constant value. Eq. The nonlinearity of the flow equation [Le..16) is called an implicit form.9).8 illustrates typical distributions for the porewater pressure and the hydraulic head along the unsaturated soil column. hw. This is different from the uniformly spaced equipotential lines for the homogeneous. points 1 and n) become the boundaq conditions..2) linearized equations can then be solved simultaneously using a procedure such as the Gaussian elimination technique. points 2. the kwyvalues at all points can be --- Co py rig hte dM ate ria l 0 1 ’t (7. (7. Once again. the hydraulic head boundary condition at the top and the base of the soil column can be expressed mathematically: h w ( l )= 0.0 (base) + hpn at y equal to h.. saturated soil column. + (4 kwy(i) + k w y ( i + ~ ).e. (top). New hydraulic heads are computed for all depths.. which in turn is related to hydraulic head.2) hydraulic heads at intermediate points. The finite difference scheme illustrated by Eq. there are (n . Steady-state Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www.com .hw(i- The hydraulic heads at the external points (he..16) n o 0 0 @ - Boundary conditions hwn = hgn+ hpn (it11 (i-1 (0 ) m 0 v P Water table hl i: 0 0 Datum Nodal points i- hw’=O Figure 7.) = h. 7. The revised coefficient of permeability values.156 7 STEADY-STATE FLOW Steadrstate Discretization Ay increments: -(8 kwy(i)} h w ( b * h w ( i + 1) .. Therefore. Eluw Boundary CondWn Infiltration into an unsaturated soil column is another example which can be used to illustrate the solution of the nonlinear differential flow equation (Fig. The above analysis can similarly be applied to the steady-state downward flow of water through an unsaturated soil. The computed hydraulic heads are used to calculate new values for the water coefficient of permeability.17) set equal to the saturated coefficient of permeability.l)]. are then used for the second iteration.e. . are a function of matric suction. The iterative procedure is repeated until there is no longer a significant change in the computed hydraulic heads and the computed coefficients of permeability.kwy(i+ I ) ) 1) at y equal to 0. Flow is occumng under steady-state evaporation conditions. The difference is the result of a varying coefficient of permeability throughout the unsaturated soil column.knovel.. gives the gravitational head at point (n). h. kwy.16)] results in a nonlinear distribution of the hydraulic head and the pore-water pressure head.0 hw(. kwy(i) + kwyci- . (7. steady-state water f l o w through an unsaturated soil with a constant head boundary condition. the hydraulic head boundary conditions at two points along the soil column must be known. During each iteration. The coefficient of permeability values at each point must be in agreement with the coefficient of permeability versus matric suction function. 3. The equation is also nonlinear because the coefficients of permeability.2) equations that must be solved simultaneously for (n .). Figure 7. As a result.kwy(. The (n . ks. Eq. The finite difference seepage equation [i.

the flux is assumed to be positive in an upward direction and negative in a downward direction A = cmss-sectional area of the soil column.1 STEADY-STATE WATER vw FLOW 157 infiltration may be established as a result of sprinkling irrigation. is known.4). The hydraulic head boundary condition at the ground surface is assumed to be unknown.knovel.. The hydraulic head distribution can be determined by solving the finite difference form of the steady-state flow equation [Le. i i Water flux (4w) (n . point (i) can be expressed in terms of the hydraulic heads 1) and (i 1) using Darcy's law: at points (i + - where qW = water flux through the soil column during the steady-state flow. Discretization "(Q . I i . Ay (Fig.7.8 Steady-state evaporation through an unsaturated soil column. The water flux at Steady-state infiltration O Co py rig hte dM ate ria l m u r e 7. The soil column is first discretized into (n) nodal points with an equal spacing. (7.9).16)].9 One-dimensional steady-state water flow through an unsaturated soil with a flux boundary condition.com .1 ) ~ @ 1 qw Unsaturated soil L Water table 't Iqw Datum T 1@ -hwl=O Nodal points I t Figure 7. 7. and is constant throughout the soil column for steady-state conditions. Eq. However. qW. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. (7. Steady-state flow can be described using EQ. the water flux. Boundary conditions L I I i i n i . Let us assume a constant downward water flux of qW.

21) is in an explicit form.10 Steady-state infiltration thmugh an unsaturated soil..158 7 STEADY-STATE FLOW Equation (7. h Figure 7.21) hw(i) hw(i.kwy(i+ 1)) hw(i . Hydraulic heads can subsequently be solved point by point. the coefficients of permeability can be replaced by k. \ ' \ \ \ \ \ \ \\ \ \ \\ \ \ : \ /. The nonlinear distribution of the pore-water pressure and hydraulic head is produced by the nonlinearity of Eq..21). 7.1) Equation (7. are used to revise the coefficients of permeability for the second iteration. upward flow (e. (7.g. Point 1 (Fig. 'Datum Water (+I v . the kV(. Therefore. (7. k. Equation (7. (7.20)can now be' solved for the hydraulic head at point (i): hw(i) = hw(i. is assumed to be equal to the saturated coefficient of permeability. kw. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. 9 ) has a zero hydraulic head.. (7. h.knovel. Therefore. The equation must be solved iteratively by setting the coefficients of permeability as constants for each iteration.1) The finite difference Eq. When computing the hydraulic head at the ground surface. hw.kwy(i-I)l + {4kwy(i)+ kwy(i.23) defines a linear distribution of the hydraulic head for a homogeneous.21): (7. qwy. for the first iteration. the hydraulic heads can be solved directly starting from a known boundary condition. evaporation from ground surface) where the flux.22) becomes linear when the soil is homogeneous: (7. saturated soil column subjected to one-dimensional steady-state flow.16)] yields the following form: -{8kwy(t>l hw(0 + ( 4 kwy(i) + k y ( i + l ) .. 7 . is known.23) Equation (7.. As a result. This iterative procedure is repeated until there is convergence with respect to the hydraulic heads and the coefficients of permeability. and subsequently the negative pore-water pressures. + value can be assumed to be equal to the kwy(.20) The coefficient of permeability at each node.I ) Equation (7. The above analysis is also applicable to steady-state.21)is nonlinear since the coefficient of permeability. (7. In the case of a heterogeneous.) value.com .10.18) can be rearranged as follows: Substituting Eq. (7. saturated soil. Typical distributions of pore-water pressure and hydraulic head during steady-state infiltration are illustrated in Fig.table Head. The computed hydraulic heads. in Eq. the base of the soil column is a suitable point to commence solving for the heads. k. Co py rig hte dM ate ria l .19) into the flow equation for point (i) [Le.1) = 0. up to the ground surface. is a function of the hydraulic head. the equipotential lines are not uniformly distributed along the soil column. Eq. qw I -hwn 4 -hpn 0 I '\ Pore-water pressure head.

Table 7 . steady-state flow can be expressed as follows: .) = water coefficients of permeability as a function of matric suction. Eq. ak. respectively.28) ay ay where k. isotropic case. is positive when water flows in the positive x-direction. = water coefficient of permeability in the x.26)becomes more obvious after The nonlinearity of E an expansion of the equation: (7. = 0 (7.2(b)J.7.25)results in a nonlinear partial differential equation: =0 (7.. and the y-direction.. (7. Water flow is in the cross-sectional plane of the dam. and dz is considered. (7. (kwJkv). .. Until recently. ax ax ak. k. for simplicity. (7.27)produces nonlinearity in the governing flow equation./ax = change in water coefficient of permeability in the x-direction.11 Two-dimensional water flow through an unsaturated soil element.u. A soil element with infinitesimal dimensions of dr.(u. k. The flow rate.and y-directions. = k .. 7. v.27)can be written as follows: k.com . is assumed to be constant at any point within the soil mass. 1 summarizes the relevant equations for two-dimensional steady-state flow through unsaturated soils. (3 +T ) + -. . Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. k. . unsaturated soil [Fig.11).26)describes the hydraulic head distribution in the x-y plane for steady-state water flow.. anisotropic. The flow rate.u..1 STEADY-STATE WATER FLOW 159 Co py rig hte dM ate ria l where k. The following two-dimensional formulation is an expanded form of the previous onedimensional flow equation. The coefficients of permeability in the x-direction. k. 7. but flow is assumed to be two-dimensional (Fig.) are written as k . are assumed to be related to the matric suction by the same permeability function.and y-directions ace equal (i.24) vw+7dy dz The spatial variation of the coefficient of permeability given in the thirrl and fourth terms in Eq.) and k. The formulation is called an uncoupled solution since it only satisfies continuity. For the remainder of the formulations. = water flow rate across a unit area of the soil in the x-direction.25) Substituting Darcy’s laws into Eq. Figure 7.. The analysis presented herein assumes that water flows in both the saturated and unsaturated zones in response to a hydraulic head driving potential. Continuity for two-dimensional. Therefore.and y-directions. (7. = k. and k. ah.(u. the coefficients of permeability in the x.3 Two-Dimensional Flow Seepage through an earth dam is a classical example of two-dimensional flow. vWx. the net flux in the x..u.).+ -a2h. For a rigorous formulation of two-dimensional flow. while flow perpendicular to the plane is assumed to be negligible. where v ./ax = hydraulic head gradient in the x-direction.knovel. is positive for flow in the positive y-direction. ah. & (7.26) Formulation for Two-Dimensional Flow The following derivation is for the general case of a hererogeneous.1.27) where ak. dy. the permeability can vary with location in the xdirection ah. For the heterogeneous. v. kwx(u.and ydirections is.). The ratio of the coefficients of permeability in the x.) dr dz = 0 (7. continuity should be coupled with the force equilibrium equations. Therefore. Equation (7.e.(u.u.. it has been conventional practice to neglect the flow of water in the unsaturated zone of the dam. 7.

There- Table 7. k. uppermost boundary when constructing the flownet. steady-state seepage beneath a sheet pile wall has the boundary conditions shown in Fig. For the saturated portion. +-ax ax Eq. Isotropic fore.12(a). Flow through the saturated soil can be considered as a special case of flow through an unsaturated soil. homoge- Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. 1979). isotropic saturated soil [Le.160 7 STEADY-STATE FLOW Table 7. k.32) Homogeneous Eq. analog methods. (7. or numerical methods. but also an uppermost flow line. the water coefficient of permeability becomes equal to the saturated coefficient of permeability.12(b)].. ah.29) Eq. + ksy aY2 ak. The flownet solution has been used extensively to analyze problems involving seepage through saturated soils.2. (7.34)] is called the Laplacian equation. The saturated coefficients of permeability may vary with respect to location due to heterogeneity. However. (7. A summary of steady-state equations for saturated soils under different conditions is presented in Table 7. The flownet solution results in two families of curves. The saturated coefficients of permeability in the x. and is explained in most soil mechanics textbooks. The solution can be obtained using closed-form analytical methods. 7. 7. A head boundary condition or an impermeable boundary condition can readily be imposed for most saturated soils problems.31) Eq. In the past. The solution of this equation describes the head at all points in a soil mass.and y-directions. steady-state seepage through saturated-unsaturated soils can be analyzed simultaneously using the same governing equation. may not be equal due to anisotropy. the conditions are more difficult to assign when dealing with unsaturated soils.. Eq. It is a linear. Eq. (7. Either the head or the flux is prescribed along the boundary. (7.34) are specialized forms that can be derived from the steady-state flow equation for unsaturated soils [i. The assumption that the free surface is a phreatic line requires that the pore-water pressures be zero along this line. 1937)... The flownet technique has been developed primarily to analyze steady-state seepage through isotropic. it is assumed that there is no flow across the free surface.27)]. ah. This uppermost boundary [i. Often. A network of flow lines and equipotential lines is sketched by trial and e m r in order to satisfy the boundary conditions and the requirement of right-angled. Equipotential lines must intersect the free surface at right angles since it is also an uppermost flow line. (7. The position of the free surface is usually determined using an empirical procedure (Casagrande. 7.33) Eq. referred to as flow lines and equipotential lines.respectively.com . partial differential equation. The flownet can then be constructed.12(b)] is not only considered to be a phreatic line.e.1 Two-Dimensional Steady-State Equations for Unsaturated Soils Heterogeneous. Anisotropic Heterogeneous.30) Seepage through a dam involves flow through the unsaturated and saturated zones. In other words. The uppennost boundary is referred to as a free surface under these special conditions (Freeze and Cherry. Eq.31)-(7. Let us consider steady-state seepage through an e a r t h dam [Fig. and ksy.. the position of the free surface is unknown. ax ak.2 Two-Dimensional Steady-State Equations for Saturated Soils Anisotropic Isotropic ksx a’h. 1937).34) Solutionsfor Two-Dimensional Flow The differential equation describing two-dimensional steady-state flow through a homogeneous. Boundary conditions for the soil domain must be known prior to the constructionof the flownet. and it must be approximated prior to constructing the flownet. the assumption has generally been made that the flow of water through the unsaturated zone is negligible due to its low permeability. In other words. a graphical method referred to as drawing a “flownet” has been used to solve the Laplacian equation (Casagrande.e. However. line BC in Fig.knovel. +-ax Heterogeneous a’h. For example. (7. (7. the phreatic line is assumed to behave as an impervious. A boundary condition exception is the case of a free surface. equidimensional elements. Equations (7.

the boundary conditions that are satisfied on the free surface specify that the pressure head must be atmospheric and the surface must be a streamline. Triangular and quadrilateral shapes of elements are commonly used for Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www.. 7. Figure 7.13 compares two solutions of a saturated-unsaturated soil system. . There is an inherent problem associated with applying the flownet technique to saturated-unsaturated flow. saturated soils.1 STEADY-STATE WATER FLOW 161 neous. The flownet in Fig.varies with respect to the matric suction in the unsaturated zone. Steady-state flow in the saturated and unsaturated zones can be analyzed simultaneously using the same governing equation [Le. The water coefficient of permeability in the saturated zone is equal to k . The flownet technique is no longer applicableto saturated-unsaturated flow modeling when the governing flow equation is not of the Laplacian form. heterogeneous soil systems. isotropic earth dam. (b) steady-state seepage throughout a homogeneous. isotropic saturated soil. The general flow equation can be solved using a numerical technique such as the finite difference or the finite element method. The flownet shown in Fig. The incorrect assumption regarding the uppermost boundary condition can be avoided by realizing that there is flow between the saturated and unsaturated zones (Freeze.12 Flownet constmctions to solve the Laplacian equation. Papagiannakis and Fnxllund. Eq. The free surface is a close approximation of the phreatic line from the saturated-unsaturated flow modeling..knovel.13(b) was constructed using an empirically defined free surface. Seepage Analysis Using the lcpnite Element Method The application of the finite element method requires the discretizationof the soil mass into elements. thereby neglecting flow in the unsaturated zone. The flownet technique becomes complex and difficult to use when analyzing anisotropic. (a) Steady-state seepage throughout a homogeneous. (7. Both zones are treated as a single domain. Co py rig hte dM ate ria l I Boundary conditions: AB: hw=H1 BC and DE: qw= 0 EF: hw = HZ AH and FG: qw = 0 HG: qw=O Assumed impervious impervious Equjpotential'lines Y Horizontal drain Boundary conditions: AB: hw=H1 BC: free surface.13(a) was drawn based on a numerical method solution for a saturated-unsaturated flow system. 7. . it's location is unkown CD: hw=O DA qw=O (b) Figure 7.. 1971.com . Whereas the first of these conditions is true." Figure 7. the second is not. ". Freeze (1971) stated that. The water coefficient of permeability. . 1984).26)].14 shows several typical solutions by Freeze (1971) involving saturated-unsaturated flow modeling.7.. The following section briefly describes the fonnulation of the finite element method in analyzing steady-state seepage through saturated-unsaturated soils. k.

x3Y2) + (Y2 .15 shows the cross section of a dam that has been discretized using triangular elements.162 I STEADY-STATE FLOW - ----__ = Equipotential line r n =Impervious Flow line a) Homogeneous boundary bl Cutoff E E I . - - {L} = matrix of the element area coordi- Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. &. (7. .e. 1984): ]s{L}%wds = 0 where nates (i. The finite element formulation for steady-state seepage in two dimensions has been derived using the Galerkin principle of weighted residuals (Papagiannakis and Fredlund. 5 = area coordinates of points in the element that are related to the Co py rig hte dM ate ria l c) Internal.13 Steady-state seepage in a saturated-unsaturated soil system.. The hydraulic head at each nodal point is obtained by solving the governing flow equation and applying the boundary conditions. y = Cartesian coordinates of a point within the element A = area of the element [* :*-J = matrix of the water coefficients of permeability (Le.X3)Y) r. { L . 3) = Cartesian coordinates of the three nodal points of an element x. 1979).com . yi(i = 1. that is.X2)Y) k? = 1 / u { ( X 3 Y l XlY3) + (Y3 .)X + (x1 . 1 6 ) : "1 = 1 / u ( ( x 2 Y 3 . The lines separating the elements intersect at nodal points. & &}) L .]) {h..knovel. = 1/244{(XlY2 .Y2)X + (x2 X l ) Y ) x i .Y.Y3)X + (x3 . 1971). basal Freesurface I _---- = Flow line line = Equipotential (b) e) Sloping core and Figure 7. 2. (b) flownet constxuction by considering flow in the saturated zone (after Freeze and Cherry.14 Typical solutions for saturated-unsaturated flow modeling of various dam sections (fromFneeze. \ \ ' ' I : : ! D Figure 7. 7 . (a) Flownet constructed from $arurare~-u~$a~ura~e~ flow modeling.35) Cartesian coordinates of nodal points as follows (Fig.X2Y1) + (Y1 . [k.} = matrix of hydraulic heads at the nodal points. Figure 7. two-dimensional problems.

The second term in Eq.com . (7.36).15 Discretized cross section of a dam for finite element analysis.35) yields a simplified form for the governing flow equation: 1“ [BIT[k. respectively. (7. the coefficient of permeability within an element is set to a value depending upon the average matric suction at the three nodal points. in the vertical direction must be converted to a normal flow rate. a spec- yl Figure 7. The normal flow rate is in turn converted to a nodal flow.” A negative nodal flow indicates evaporation or evapotranspiration at the node and that the node acts as a “sink.XI) 3- * = Nodal point i =1 yl) -W (1.Y2) - x2) (XI . In this way. the second term in Eq. (7.” When the flow rate acmss a boundary is zero (e. Q. impervious boundary).37) Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. Specified hydraulic heads at the boundary nodes are called Dirichlet boundary conditions.0. Equation (7. I.36) accounts for the specified flow rate measured in a dimtion normal to the boundary. 7.7.and y-dimtions can be computed for an element by taking the derivative of the element hydraulic heads with respect to n and y. This is performed while satisfying nodal compatibility (Desai and Abel.36) is nonlinear because the coefficients of permeability are a function of matric suction. ow = external water flow rate in a direc- tion perpendicular to the boundary of the element S = perimeter of the element..knovel. QWi and Q W j . as illustrated in Fig.l[BldA {h. which can be written as -[ 24 1 Either the hydraulic head or the flow rate must be specified at boundary nodal points.17 shows the computation of the nodal flows.Yl) (Y1 . A positive nodal flow signifies that there is infiltration at the node or that the node acts as a “source.g. k. at the boundary nodes (i) and ( j ) .x3) (x2 . The hydraulic head gradients in the x.(u. the global flow equations are linearized and can be solved simultaneously using a Gaussian elimination technique. {h. =0 (7. Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Figure 7.0)(XI. For each iteration. The finite element equation [Eq. u.36)] can be written for each element and assembled to form a set of global flow equations.(7. The hydraulic heads are the unknown variables in Eq.1 STRADY-STATE WATER FLOW Node number 1 Element number 1 163 8 195 Rearranging Eq. Z. (7. Equation (7. For example.16 Area coordinates in relation to the Caltesian coordinates for a triangular element.17.36) is solved by using an iterative method.) - where [B] = matrix of the derivatives of the area coordinates.. 1 S tLITZ.) . Figure 7. Nodal compatibility requires that a particular node sharect by the sumunding elements must have the same hydraulic head in all of the elements (Zienkiewicz. Desai 1975a). Cartesian coordinates Area coordinates ified flow rate. which is related to the hydraulic head at the nodal points.36) disappears. The above steps are repeated until the hydraulic heads and the coefficients of permeability no longer change by a significant amount. (Segerlind 1984).). A specified flow rate across the boundary is ref e d to as a Neuman boundary condition.36) (Yz’(x3 Y3) (Y3 . respectively: - (7. The computed hydraulic head at each nodal point is again averaged to determine a new coefficient of permeability from the permeability function. 1972).

7. can be calculated from the hydraulic head gradients and the coefficients of permeability in accordance with Darcy’s law: = where v. The weighted average is computed in proportion to the element areas. 7.3*) mospheric. The first example is an isotropic earth dam with a hori0 m height of zontal drain. = hydraulic head gradient within an element in the x. The cross section and discretization of the probA 1 0 m height of water is lem are illustrated in Fig. The hydraulic head gradient and the flow rate at nodal points are computed by averaging the corresponding quantities from all elements surrounding the node. Examples o f fro-Dimensional Problems The following examples m presented to demonstrate the application of the finite element method t o steady-state seepage through saturated-unsaturated soils...knovel. 0 X lo-’ m/s. [kwl[Bl{h. applied to the upstream of the dam. vw. 7.19. A zero hy- Ngure 7. The effects of anisotropy.The saturated coefficient Of permeability. respectively. The element flow rates.17 Applied flow rate across the boundary expressed as nodal flows. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www.The 1 water on the upstream of the dam gives a 1 0 m hydraulic head at each node along the upstream face. The base of the dam is chosen as the datum.and y-directions. Lam (1984) has solved several classical problems of seepage through a dam using a saturated-unsaturated finite element seepage analysis. infiltration. i . and the use of a core and a horizontal drain on seepage through the dam are illustrated later using additional examples.1 6 4 7 STEADY-STATEFLOW where i.15. Therefore. 7.18 are numerically equal to the pore-water pressures. The pore-air pressure is assumed to be at- Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Figure 7... k. tlw = water flow rates within an element in the x- and y-directions.18.com . is 1 ..18 Specified permeability functions for analyzing steady-state seepage through a dam. as shown in Fig.) (7. the matric suction values in Fig. and can be expressed as a pore-water pressure head. h. respectively.The permeability function used in the analysis is shown as function A in Fig.

= Equipotential line (m) - = Nodal flow ratevector.----. (a) Equipotential lines and nodal flow xate vectors through the dam. (m) .00 Figure 7.7 x 10. Vw (m/s)lwith thf scale = 4.56 Free surface from flownet construction m F H o r i z o n t a l drain4 -2 m -4 m .knovel. \ Scale for geometry: -= 1. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www.----- = Isobar.19 Seepage through an isotropic earth dam with a w n t a l dmh. (b) contours of porn-water pressurn head ( i bars) through the dam.m/s - -T Phreatic line or Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Reservoir level 20 Phreatic line from finite element m o d e .com .

Steady-state seepage in the central section of the dam tends towards an infinite slope situation.. The water in the saturated and unsaturated zones then flows essentially parallel to the phreatic line in the central section of the dam.and y-dimtions. This ratio is assumed to be conrection (Le.e.. The saturated zone may reach the downstream face of the dam for higher ratios of the horizontal to vertical coefficients of permeability. as depicted by the concentrated distribution of equipotential lines in the core zone.19(a) and 7. The water in the saturated zone then flows across the phreatic line into the unsaturated zone at the toe of the dam. The isobars are almost parallel to the phreatic line in the central section of the dam. 7. with the zero pressure head contoured as the phreatic line. 7. 7.e. as indicated by the nodal flow rate vectors. Equipotential lines extend from the saturated zone through the unsaturated zone. water flows across the phreatic line from the saturated to the unsaturated zone and continues to flow in the unsaturated zone. The differencebetween the phreatic line (from the finite element analysis) and the free surface (from the flownet technique) decreases as the permeability function for the unsaturated zone becomes steeper. e. 7. k. Pore-water pressure heads are computed by subtracting the elevation head from the hydraulic head.0 x function in accordance with function B in Fig. A steep permeability function indicates a rapid reduction in the water coefficient of permeability for a small increase in matric suction. One permeability function (Le. the phreatic line approaches the empirical free surface.18.21. and zero nodal flows are specified along the entire lower boundary. The phreatic line resulting from the saturated-unsaturated flow model is in close agreement with the empirical free surface from a conventional flownet construction. Changes in hydraulic head between equipotential lines demonstrates that water flows in both the saturated and unsaturated zones. 7.22(a).. In other words. Consequently. The seepage face has a zero pore-water pressure (Le. 7. The pore-water pressure heads at all of the nodes throughout the dam are shown in Fig.18) is used for the x. as assumed in the flownet technique. 7. as illustrated in Fig. Infiltration results in a rise in the phreatic line. 7. The seepage analysis results are presented in Fig. The results show that most of the hydraulic head change occurs in the region around the core. The boundary conditions used in the analysis are the same as those applied to the previous problems. The results of the finite element analysis are presented in Fig. water can flow across the phreatic line. The fifth example demonstrates the development of a seepage face on the downstream of the dam. This condition approaches the assumption associated with the conventional flownet technique. as shown in Fig.. Water flow across the phreatic line into the unsaturated zone indicates that the phreatic line is not the uppermost flow line.23). 7. The phreatic line exits on the downstream face. The location of the exit point is not known prior to per- Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. of 1. The phreatic line extends to the downstream face of the dam. In other words. Near the upstream face of the dam. the siphon effect).19. Steady-state infiltration is simulated by applying a positive nodal flow.21(a).knovel. In this case. This case is further explained in the next section. greater hydraulic head changes take place in the core. The results can be compared to the case of zero flux across the upper boundary by comparing Figs. 7.19(a) and (b). As the difference in the coefficients of permeability between the soil and the core increases... The nodal flow rate vectors also indicate that a significant amount of water flows upward into the unsaturated zone and bypasses the relatively impermeable core (Le. of 1.20(a) and (b) show steady-state seepage for the above dam cross section when the soil is anisotropic. 7.. the quantity of water flow into the unsaturated zone is considerably reduced. Contour lines of equal pressure heads or isobars are also shown. function A in Fig.0 x lo-’ m/s. There is close agreer o m the finite element between the phreatic line obtained f ment analysis and the free surface obtained using the flownet technique (Fig. infiltration) on the isotropic earth dam shown in Fig. 7.com . The amount of water flowing in the unsaturated zone depends upon the rate at which the coefficient of permeabilitychanges with respect to matric suction. 7.22. the hydraulic head is equal to the gravitational head. This observation supports the assumption that the empirical free surface is approximately equal to a phreatic line.166 7 STEADY-STATEFLOW draulic head is specified at nodes along the horizontal drain..0 x lo-* m2/s to each of the nodes along the upper boundary of the dam. Figures 7.22(b)] relative to the zero flux case [i.19(b). The fourth example demonstrates the effect of a flux boundary (Le. there is no horizontal drain. The phreatic line is elongated in the direction of the major coefficient of permeability for the anisotropic case [Fig.. However. The water coefficient of permeability in the horizontal direction is assumed to be nine times larger than in the vertical di. Fig.20(a)]. k stant throughout the dam. the pote-water pressures in the unsaturated zone increase [i.19(a). The third example shows an isotropic earth dam having a core with a lower coefficient of permeability and a horizontal drain. as shown in Fig.19(a)]. k. atmospheric) boundary condition. Zero nodal flow is specified at nodes along the remaining boundaries. 7. 7. Fig. The soil has a saturated coefficient of permeability.19(b)]. The flow of water in the saturated and unsaturated zones is approximately parallel to the phreatic line. = 9 k 4 . and the permeability function is in accordance with function A in Fig. The pressure heads range from positive to negative values. of 1. This is not the situation for the sections close to the upstream face and the toe of the dam. The core has a saturated coefficient of m/s and a permeability permeability. and the portion below the exit point is called the seepage face. In this case.. as observed from the flow rate vectors in the central section of the dam [Fig. 7.18.

Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. 4 111 - = 1.---.00 c 9 Figure 7.56 Horizontal drain 4 (a) ___-__ = Isobar (m) Phreatic line or zero isobar .com .20 Seepage through an anisotropic earth dam with a horizontal drain. (a) Equipotential lines and nodal flow rate vectors throughout the dam. (b) contours of pore-water pressure head (isobars) throughout the dam.Equipotential line (m) Phreatic line Reservoir level = Nodal flow rate vector. - vw (m/s) with the scale = 4-0 m/s Scale for geometry: 9m Co py rig hte dM ate ria l ..knovel.

-0.00 (b) Figure 7. ------.---. !\s Permeabilitv - Core with permeability function B Horizontal drain 4 Phreatic line or zero isobar -.96 6. @) contours of pore-water pressure head (isobars) throughout the dam.94 5.95 9 3 d.knovel.Equipotential line (m) Reservoir level = Nodal flow rate vector.83 F 1 . vw(m/s) with the scale =1..99 .56 .s-g28fi 8.82 +-0.I .s2 8. 9m -7m Scale for geometry: - = 1.93 8. /'.com . 8 6 r 0 .99 8. 1 2 + .86 U .97 2.94 8.00 8.2 0 ~ 8.99 2.l .-O.82 299 9. (a) Equipotential lies and nodal flow rate vectors throughout the dam.= Isobar (m) 6-99 5.59 *-0.06 x lo-*m/s - Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Phreatic line -.U8 r 0 .98 6.21 Seepage through an isotmpic earth dam with a core and a horizontal drain. W 3 * . Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www.90 L828.90 5. 9 6 .86 5.

(b) contours of pore-water pressure head (isobars) throughout the dam.56 I t.com - = 1.1 I __---.ontal drain under steady-state infiltration. vw(m/s) with the scale = 4. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. (a) Equipotential lines and nodal flow rate vectors throughout the dam.knovel. m2/s Scale for geometry: Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Phreatic line or zero isobar \ (b) Fagore 7.= = Nodal flow rate vector.= Isobar (m) .2 x lO-&m/s - = tp'.22 Seepage through an isotropic earth dam with a horiz.

com . vw(m/s) with the scale = 2.----_= Equipotential line (m) = Nodal flow rate vector. (a) Quipotential lines and nodal flow rate vectors throughout the dam.5 x m/s - Scale for geometry. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www.56 Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Phreatic line \ 9 m -8 m Free surface from flownet construction ------ = Isobar (m) Phreatic line or zero isobar -00 Figure 7.knovel. (b) contours of pore-water pressure head (isobars) thmghout the dam.23 Seepage through an isotropic earth dam with an impervious lower boundary. - = 1.

as long as the soil is isotropic. Let us consider the case where steady-state water flow is established within the slope and the phreatic line is parallel to the ground surface. increasingly larger flow channels are required in order to maintain the same quantity of water flow. A negative pore-water pressure head at this point indicates that the assumed exit point is correct. As a result. The hydraulic heads at or below the assumed exit point are specified as being equal to their gravitational heads. Isobars are parallel to the phreatic line.. After convergence. During the analysis. The water flow in each channel is one-dimensional.com forming the analysis. the condition in the central section of a homogeneous dam. The coefficient of permeability is essentially independent of the pore-water pressure in the saturated zone. Therefore.7. Lines separating the flow channels are r e f e d to as flow lines.24. This is similar to Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Figure 7. The direction of the water flow indicates that there is no flow perpendicular to the phreatic line. However. In other words. The above pmcedure is repeated until the correct exit point is obtained. as ground surface is approached. the hydraulic head gradient is equal to zero in a direction perpendicular to the phreatic line. the nodal flows above the assumed exit point are set at zero. and is parallel to the phreatic line.24 Steady-state water flow through an infinite slope. as explained in Section 7. however. the same type of finite element seepage analysis can be applied to other problems involving saturated-unsaturated flow. The exit point can then be revised after each iteration by reevaluating the seepage face boundary condition. Similarly. the location of the exit point must be assumed in order to commence the analysis. Water flows through both the saturated and unsaturated zones. the lines drawn normal to theqhreatic line are equipotential lines. the pore-water pressure head at the node directly above the assumed exit point is examined. The water coefficient of permeability depends on the negative pore-water pressure or the matric suction in the unsaturated zone. In the case of the vertical column. The pore-water pressure decreases from zero at the phreatic line to some negative value at ground surface. 0therwise. the saturated zone can be subdivided into several flow channels of equal size.1. the seepage face boundary is revised by assuming a higher exit point for the phreatic line. water flux. In this case. 7. The above examples illustrate that equipotential lines and flow lines intersect at right angles for unsaturated flow problems.1 STEADY-STATE WATER FLOW 171 Znfinite Slope A slope of infinite length is illustrated in Fig. the coefficient of permeability varied in the flow direction. Therefore.2. the permeability decrcases f r o m the phreatic line to ground surface. The coefficient of permeability varies in the direction perpendicular to flow. qw)flows through each channel. Heterogeneity with respect to the coefficient of permeability results in varying distances between either the flow lines or the equipotential lines. as shown earlier. in a direction parallel to the phreatic line. these lines cross at 9 0 ' . This condition can be compared to the previous case of water flow through a vertical column. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. and the equipotential lines were not equally distributed throughout the soil column. .knovel. An equal amount of water (Le. The above examples deal with seepage through earth dams. qw.

However. A pore-water pressure head of (-H cos2a) applies to any point along the ground surface since every line parallel to the phreatic line is also an isobar.40) indicates that there is a decrease in the hydraulic head as the datum is approached. (7. the pore-water pressure head distribution in the a-direction must start at zero at the datum (Le.. H.knovel. In other words.¶ vertically). as shown in Fig..25 Pore-water pressure distributions in the unsaturated zone of an infinite slope during steady-state seepage.e. This is the condition of static equilibrium above and below a horizontal water table. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. The ratio between the pore-water pressure heads on a vertical plane through an infinite slope (i.172 7 STEADY-STATE FLOW Hydraulic head is equal to zero along the a-direction The pore-water pressure distribution in the unsaturated zone can be analyzed by considering a horizontal datum through an arbitrary point (e. in the adirection) is first examined. 7. hps.e.. hps This ratio indicates the reduction in the pore-water pressures on a vertical plane as the slope. while the head is distributed along a length. Therefore. The is equal to its elevation f hydraulic head is computed as the sum of the gravitational and pore-water pressure heads: h. y (Fig.e. (Hcos a).cos2a)y.3. When the ground surface and the phreatic line are horizontal (i.. the y-direction) for an infinite slope Y = vertical distance fmm the point under consideration to the datum (i.39) Equation (7. hPi = ... The pore-water pressure head at a point in the a-direction must be negative and equal in magnitude to its gravitational head because the hydraulic heads are zero in the adirection. 7. The pore-water pressure distribution in a direction perpendicular to the phreatic line (Le.becomes steeper (Fig. and decreases linearly to a head of (-Hcos2a) at ground surface.40) . 7. ground surface (Le.y cos2a) and the pore-water pressure heads associated with a horizontal -y) is plotted in Fig. a. the pore-water pressure head is distributed along a length. = (1 .25) on the phreatic line.y COS~CY (7. the negative pre-water pressure head at a point along a vertical plane.com . a = 0 or cos a = I). and increases linearly to a gravitational head of (H cos2a) at ground surface.25). datum). The gravitational head distribution in the a-dimtion is zero at point A (i. The negative pore-water pressure head at a point on a vertical plane can therefore be expressed a follows: hPi = Co py rig hte dM ate ria l / Saturated zone Figure 7. in the a-direction. point A in Fig. point A) and decrease linearly to (-Hcos2a) at ground surface.is equal to -y.e. 7. The results are then used to analyze the pore-water pressure distribution in the y-direction (Le. there is a vertical downward component of water flow.. where hPi = negative pore-water pressure head on a vertical plane (i. point A) a = inclination angle of the slope and the phreatic line..g. in the vertical direction. The gravitational head at a point along a vertical plane r o m the datum. The pore-water pressure head distribution in a vertical direction also commences with a zero value at point A.26.. 7.26).e.

) are written as k.26 E f f e c t of slope inclination on the pore-water pressure distribution along a vertical plane... k.u.50 permeability function. and z-dimtions. The soil element has infinitesimal dimensions of dx.. Figure 7. . 7. Three-dimensional flow can be formulated by expanding the two-dimensional flow equation to include the third direction.7.- c) d 0.knovel.(ua . The above analysis also applies to the pore-water pressure conditions below the phreatic line.39).1 STEADY-STATE WATER FLOW 173 0. dy. Continuity for three-dimensional./az = hydraulic head gradient in the zdirection.(u.25 8 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 where v.(7. the permeability variations in the three directions will be assumed to be governed by the same Co py rig hte dM ate ria l 0.1. v. and decreases linearly with depth along a vertical plane. Let us consider an unsaturated soil having heterogeneous. (7. are assumed to be positive when water flows in the positive x-. ++ -) ay az dr dy dz = 0. 7.27 Three-dimensional steady-state water flow through an unsaturated soil element. y-. and k.. The three-dimensional equation is derived based on continuity.. y-. Using the same horizontal line through point A.42) Substituting Darcy’s law into Eq. and the equation is refemd to as the uncoupled equation of flow. Equation (7.). and dz. a (degrees) Figure 7.u. steady-state flow can be satisfied as follows: E B 0 .(U. . kV.. and zdirections.0 Inclination angle. and z-directions. and v .27 shows a cubical soil element with water flow in the x-. = water coefficient of permeability as a function of matric suction ah.u. .41)reduces to the following form: av.43) where &. and 1 vwz T Figure 7. anisotropic conditions [Fig. v .) For the remainder of the formulations.(u. Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www..com . y-.42)produces a nonlinear partial differential equation: a [&& +az . (7.The coefficient of permeability at a point varies in the x-.40)] is zero at the phreatic line.2(b)].75 u) i 0.. k.4 Three-Dimensional Flow Sometimes it is necessary to use a three-dimensionalflow analysis in order to simulate the flow system of interest.) az =0 (7. (7.u. av. = water flow rate across a unit area of the soil in the z-direction.The hydraulic head [Eiq.). The flow rates.u. However. positive pore-water pressure heads along a vertical plane can be computed in accordance with Eq.

44) account for the spatial variation in the coefficient of permeability. ah. ah.Z-+ ah. and z-directions are equal. (7.46) Eq. ah. ax + -ak . fifth. (7. For a saturated soil. a2 ax ax (7. = change in water coefficient of permeability in the z-direction.3 Three-Dimensional Steady-State Equations for Unsaturated Soils Heterogeneous. azh. (7.43) is caused by permeability variations with respect to space. respectively. +2-+2-+--=() ak ah. Anisotropic azh. ah.48) Eq. a2h. k w x s + k .174 I STEADY-STATE FLOW Table 7. +-ax ah. ak./az k.. (7. (7. az az (7. the hydraulic head gradient in the third direction is negligible (e. + k. the coefficient of permeability becomes equal to the saturated coefficient of permeability.4 Three-Dimensional Steady-StateEquations for Satumted Soils Anisotropic Isotropic Heterogeneous azh. (7. In the case of two-dimensional flow. + -ak.. (7. az az ax ax ay ay ah. +-+-- a2h.44) takes the following form: (3ay' + azh. -=o az a t k . a'h. Eq. + %) + ak. 3 ( z +-- 3) +-- + -aks . and Eq. ak. a2h. aksz ah. (7.51) a2h. The nonlinearity of Eq. ak ah. azh. and sixth terms in Eq. azh. -g + kSY 2 + ksz ks + ay' + aY ak.3 summarizes the three-dimensional steady-state equations for unsaturated soils. ak. ah. (7. (7. a2h. (7.. A summary of three-dimensional. y-. +-ay Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Eq. ay +a=o ak ah.44) where where ak. ax2 +w+q=O Eq.50) Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. steady-state equations for suturuted soils cornsponding to various conditions is presented in Table 7. The fourth. Table 7. y-. o az az Eq.43).47) k.. The three dimensional steady-state flow equations can be Table 7.O a2h. ax ax ay ay az az ay ay ax ax Y azh.. ak ah. and Eq. = water coefficient of permeability in the x-.45) =O ah. a2h. and z-directions. a2h.= ah. for simplicity. kwxax2 azh. k. a2h.-+>a2 ax ax Wy aJ ak. the coefficients of permeability in the x-.= o ak. The hydraulic head distribution in a soil mass during three-dimensional steady-state flow is described by Eq. k.com ..g./az = 0). . isotropic case.27).49) Homogeneous + ksz a z 2 -. ah. ay ay ah.knovel. Isotropic kw ( 3 + ay2 + 3) ak. For the heterogeneous. azh.+k. +k aJ az2 Wy Heterogeneous.44) reverts to Eq. The nonlinearity can be illustrated by expanding the equation: a2h.4. (7.

55) accounts for the spatial variation in the coefficient of transmission.56) Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. The coefficient of transmission. hetemgeneous) soil element with onedimensional air flow in the ydirection (Fig.2.. = pore-air pressure.28 Onedimensional steady-state air f l o w through an unsaturated soil element./g). Eq.52) gives the net mass rate of air flow (7.. is a function of the volume-mass properties or the stress state of the soil.*y for simplicity. 7.and two-dimensional air flow using Fick’s law. . or 0 distribution of the pore-air volume in the soil.54): - where Consider an unsaturated (i. k. depending upon the of k.28). The following air flow equations can be solved using numerical methods such as the finite difference or the finite element methods.under steady-state conditions.(7. DZ. The manner of solving the equations is similar to that described in the previous sections. ’ 0. and anisotropic situations are presented.. and matric suction [i. k. k.2 STEADY-STATE AIR FLOW 175 solved using numerical procedures such as the finite difference and finite element methods.55) is reduced to a linear differential equation: d’u.u. . Heterogeneous.(ua d Y The bulk flow of air can occur through an unsaturated soil when the air phase is continuous.54) where DZy(u. by the gravitational accelemtion (i. DO*y= k.(7. Dtg).uw) h a l d y 1 = 0 (7.53) Substituting Fick’s law (seeChapter 5 ) for the mass rate of flow into the above equation yields a nonlinear differential equation: . The value : may vary with location.1 One-Dimensional Flow Jay = mass rate of air flow across a unit a m of the soil in the y-direction.(S.2 STEADY-STATE AIR FLOW the mass of air flowing out of the element: (I.)] are described in Chapter 5 . The spatial variation of DZy causes nonlinearity in E@. Possible variations in the air coefficient of permeability in an unsaturated soil are described using Fig. The principle of continuity states that the mass of air flowing into the soil element must be equal to dDZY. uw).54) and (7. The relationships between the air coefficient of permeability. the coefficients DZy and k . (7.. The air coefficient of transmission. have similar functional relationships to matric suction. it is of value to understand the formulations for compressible flow through porous media. isotmpic.e. In other words. The air coefficient of permeability at a point can be assumed to be constant with respect to time during steady-state air flow. or the air coefficient of permeability.) = air coefficient of transmission as a function of matric suction du. 7. 7. Rearranging 4. The measurement of the air coefficient of permeability using a triaxial penneameter cell (Chapter 6 ) is an application involving one-dimensional. The second term in 4.. steady-state air flow. Equations (7. u 3 ] or degree of saturation [Le..*. This section presents the steady-state formulations for one.55) describe the pore-air pressure distribution in the soil mass in the y-direction.e. -= d Y Figure 7. where i dy dJ”dy ) dxdz . k.7. 7. the flow of air may not be of concern. Neglecting the change in the air coefficient of permeability with respect to location. DZY(u. (7. however.com . The coefficient of transmission is obtained by dividing the air coefficientof permeability.(u../dy = pore-air pressure gradient in the y-direction u.ldy= change in the air coefficient of transmission in the y-direction.e. Steady-state air flow is analyzed by assuming that the pore-water pressure has reached equilibrium. (7.J. In this case. will be written as D. (i.2. In many practical situations. The air flow has a mass rate of flow.52) Co py rig hte dM ate ria l d { .dxdz =0 (7.D.knovel.. kay. The mass rate is assumed to be positive for an upward air flow.e. the air coefficient of permeability is assumed to be constant throughout the soil specimen. Jay.. However.

into Eq. C. D.u.60)results in the following f l o w equation: (7.. + %dx . Let us write D. When solved. (7. Figure 7. u. These two terms produce the nonlinearity in the flow equation.2(b)].59) gives the following nonlinear partial differential equation: - ax [DZCU.. The air pressures at both ends of the specimen (Le.) ratio will be assumed to be constant at any point within the soil mass. D Z = k . = (1 . + (Jay + ay aJay dy . Rearranging Eq.0 and u.y/hs)uab).u.) +aY aY =0 (7.57) results in a linear equation for the pore-air pressure dong the soil specimen (i.60) where (J. J .56)twice: u. anisotropic condition [Fig.) = air coefficient of transmission as a (7.) simply as D Z and D t y . k.61) state where air flow Uab a D z / a x = change in air coefficient of transmission in the x-direction. .57) C. Substituting the boundary conditions into Eq. . An element of soil subjected to two-dimensional air flow is shown in Fig.61). The coefficient of transmission. by the gravitational acceleration (i.29 Pore-air pressure distribution during the rneasure. The air coefficients of transmission in the x. ment of the air coefficient of permeability.e.u.and y-directions.e.(u. (7. / g ) . (7.) are the boundary conditions.59) Uat =0 (7.(ua .knovel.30. k Spatial variations in the coefficients of transmission are accounted for by the third and fourth terms in Eq. Expanding Eq. Satisfying continuity for l o w yields the following equation: steady-state f Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Z P X Figure 7. soil Unsaturated Pore-air pressure distribution specimen Figure 7. = ud at y = 0. (7. (7. = constants of integration related to the boundary conditions y = distance in the y-direction.2 Two-Dimensional Flow Two-dimensional..58) function of matric suction dua/dx = pore-air pressure gradient in the x-direction. J . u.58) results in the following equation: (2+$)&dy&=O. u. (7. 7. (7. = ua = 0.0 at y = h. and Jay. = c .. steady-state air flow is first formulated for the heterogeneous. 7. are related to matric suction using the same transmission function. = mass rate of air flowing across a unit area of the soil in the x-direction.). The (D&/D.com .J a y ) dx dz = 0 where ) dydz D.176 7 STEADY-STATEFLOW The pore-air pressure distribution in the y-direction is obtained by integrating Eq. respectively.61)describes the pore-air pres- Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www.u. Substituting Fick’s law for the mass rates.30 An element subjected to two-dimensional air flow.*.) and DZY(ua.29 illustrates the pore-air pressure distribution within a soil specimen during an air permeability test. y where + c. D t ( u .. .J.) a ax a [DZy(ua .u. (7.2. 7. and DZy. is related to the air coefficient of permeability. Eq. D Z .

ua = (y/L)uat).57) yields a linear equation for the diffusing pore-air pressure distribution in the ydirection (i. Eq.. An example showing the pore-air and pore-water pressure distributions across a saturated soil specimen during the measurement of the coefficient of diffusivity is shown in Fig. and Q. =0 ay ay (7. The Co py rig hte dM ate ria l Copyright © 1993 John Wiley & Sons Retrieved from: www. au.l> uw = 0 UW'O (atmospheric) 1 ao: . = ud = 0.. isotropic case. 7. (7. The air pressure at each end of the specimen (i.61) becomes 0 : U. The pore-air pressure distribution through the soil specimen is assumed to be linear. (7. the diffused air pressure is dissipated across a region of water. (7.e...and ydirections. Another example is the diffusion of air through a saturated soil specimen. .com Saturated soil specimen Pore-water (atmospheric) pressure distribution Pore-air pressure distribution Figure 7.62) Usb = Uw 0 where D: = air coefficient of transmission in the x.7. steady-state air flow. = DZ). D. 7. The coefficient is assumed to be a constant.e. ax ax au.56)]. partial differential equation describing air diffusion takes the same form as that for air flow through an unsaturated soil [Le.+ -a o : (3 + $-) + a2u. D Z = D:.3 STEADY-STATE AIR DIFFUSION THROUGH WATER The diffusion of air through a saturated ceramic high air entry disk is one example of steady-state air diffusion through water.0 at y = 0. the coefficients of transmission in the x.3 STEADY-STATE AIR DIFFUSION THROUGH WATER 177 sure distribution in the x-y plane of the soil mass during two-dimensional. u. For the heterogeneous..0 and u. = ua at y = L) are the boundary conditions.31. The measurement of the coefficient of diffusion can be used as an example of steady-state air diffusion through water..31 Pore-air pressure distribution during the measurement of the coefficient of diffusion. In each case.and y-directions are equal (i.knovel. These partial differential equations for air flow are similar in form to those previously presented for water flow.e. Substituting the boundary conditions into Eq.