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Topics

1. Differential Equations of Groundwater

Flow

2. Boundary conditions

3. Initial Conditions for groundwater

problems

4. FlowNet analysis

5. Mathematical analysis of some simple

flow problems

1

Examples of useful use of flow equations in

solving Hydro Problems

(1) WL drop around a well after 10 years of

pumping

(2) Contaminant concentration changes

after 5 years of remediation (cleanup)

(3) Change in storage of aquifer after use of

50 years

2

Mathematical approach

by an equation

How is it done?

An illustrative example:

A. A geological problem

Silty Sand

Sand

Shale

How is it done?

An illustrative example:

B. Conceptualized mathematical problem

Water Table: variable head boundary

Side Noflow

boundary

K=1

K = 10

Side Noflow

boundary

= NO-Flow boundary

How is it done?

An illustrative example:

C. Calculating the hydraulic head distribution

(governing equations)

76

78

80

82

84

K=1

K = 10

K =86

1

88

h= 90

K = 10

Deriving Groundwater

flow Equations

principle of mass

conservation

Darcy's Law

GW Flow equations

Deriving Groundwater

flow Equations

Representative

Elementary

Volume (REV)

z

change in storage with time

8

groundwater flow

h

h

( K x ) ( K y ) ( Kz ) S s

x

x y

y z

z

t

This is a linear parabolic partial differential equation

Its the main equation of groundwater flow in

saturated media

It is solvable only by numerical methods

the solution of which yields h (x,y,z,t) in a

heterogeneous, anisotropic confined aquifer.

Also known as the Diffusion Equation

9

(1) for homogeneous

but anisotropic

aquifer:

2h

2h

2h

h

K x 2 K y 2 Kz 2 S s

x

y

z

t

and isotropic

2 h 2 h 2 h S s h

2 2

2

x

y

z

K t

2 h 2 h S h

2

2

x

y

T t

2h 2h 2h

2 2 0

2

x

y

z

10

Laplace equation

2h 2h 2h

0

2

2

2

x

y

z

hydrogeology. The solution to this equation describes

the value of the hydraulic head at any point in a 3dimensional flow field

represents "solution" to Laplace's equation for

2-dimensional flow field

11

3 types:

1. Dirichlet Boundary

Condition

Specified head at a boundary

2. Neumann Boundary Condition

Specified water flux at a

boundary

3. Cauchy boundary condition

Relates hydraulic head to water

flux

12

For steady state equations

Only boundary conditions are needed

Boundary and initial conditions are needed

Initial condition:

Provides hydraulic head everywhere within the domain of interest

before simulation begins

h (x , y , z , 0) h0 (x , y , z )

13

14

15

16

1. Streamlines are perpendicular to equipotential

lines. If the hydraulic-head drops between the

equip. lines are the same, the streamlines and

equip. lines form curvilinear squares.

2. The same quantity of ground water flows

between adjacent pairs of flow lines, provided no

flow enters or leaves the region in the internal

part of the net. It follows, then that the number of

flow channels (known as stream tubes) must

remain constant throughout the net.

3. The hydraulic-head drop between two

adjacent equipotential lines is the same.

17

1. Study well-constructed flownets and try to duplicate them by

independently reanalyzing the problems they represent

2. In a first attempt, use only four or five flow channels.

3. Observe the appearance of the entire flownet; do not try to

adjust details until the entire net is approximately correct.

4. Be aware that frequently parts of a flownet consist of straight

and parallel lines, result in uniformly sized squares.

5. In a flow system that has symmetry, only a section of the net

needs to be constructed because the other parts are images of

that section.

6. During the sketching of the net, keep in mind that the size of

the rectangle changes gradually; all transitions are smooth,

and where the paths are curved they are of elliptical or

parabolic shape.

18

Flownets, Rules

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

The water table is a streamline when there is no flow

across the water table, that is, no recharge or ET. When

there is recharge, the water table is neither a flow line

nor an equipotential line.

Streamlines end at extraction wells, drains, and gaining

streams, and they start from injection wells and losing

streams.

Lines dividing a flow system into two symmetric parts

are streamlines.

In natural ground-water systems, streamlines often

begin and end at the water table in areas of groundwater recharge and discharge, respectively.

19

From Darcys Eqn in one

flow channel in 2-D:

h

Q T W

L

If we have squares:

Q

nf

T H

nd

20

Example 5.3

Q = 1 x 106 ft3/day

Find T?

21

Draw a flow net for seepage through the earthen dam shown below.

If the hydraulic conductivity of the material used in the dam is 0.22

ft/day, what is the seepage per unit width per day?

22

23

24

Q T W

Q T1h1

h

L

W1

W2

T2 h2

L1

L2

T1 L1W2

T2 L2 W1

25

Example 5.4

26

Analytical solution only applied to

Regular geometry

Homogeneous

Simple initial and boundary conditions

numerical methods using computers to handle:

Large number of wells

Complicated boundary conditions

Groundwater/ surface water interactions

Variable recharge/ET

27

2h

0;

2

x

h | x 0 h0 ,

h | x l hL

28

Example 5.5

29

Example 5.6

30

Chapter Highlights

1. Ground-water hydrologists rely on quantitative mathematical approaches in

analyzing test data and in making predictions about how systems are likely

to behave in the future. The mathematical approach involves representing

the flow process by an equation and solving it. The solution within some

domain or region of interest defines how the hydraulic head varies as a

function of space and time.

2. The flow equations are complicated partial differential equations.

Fortunately, at this introductory level, all one really needs to do is to identify

the equation and extract a few details. In most applications, the solutions

are available in simplified forms. To find the unknown in an equation, simply

find the variable residing in the derivative term.

3. Equations of ground-water flow can be developed, starting with an

appropriate conservation statement of this form

mass inflow rate, -mass outflow rate = change of mass storage with time

The general approach is to apply this equation to a block of porous medium called a

representative elementary volume. It is possible to replace the words in this

equation by mathematical expressions, transforming it to a form that can be

developed to the main equation of ground-water flow in a porous medium

31

Chapter Highlights

4. The solution of differential equations requires boundary

conditions. In effect, the boundary conditions stand in for the

conditions outside of the simulation domain and effectively let

one concentrate the modeling on the simulation domain.

5. There are three types of common boundary conditions. The first type or

Dirichlet condition involves providing known values of hydraulic head along

the boundary. The second type or Neumann condition requires specification

of water fluxes along a boundary. A no-flow boundary (water flux zero) is the

most well-known second-type boundary condition. The third-type or Cauchy

boundary condition relates hydraulic head to water flux. This boundary

condition is commonly used to represent ground-water/surface-water

interactions.

6. For transient equations, in which the hydraulic head can change as a function

of time, it is necessary to define the initial condition. The initial condition

provides the hydraulic head everywhere within the domain of interest before

the simulation begins (that is, at time zero).

32

Chapter Highlights

7. A variety of mathematical and graphical approaches are available to

solve ground-water- flow equations. One approach that is

emphasized in this chapter is called the flownet analysis. For

relatively simple, two-dimensional, steady-state flow problems, you

can determine the distribution of equipotential lines graphically.

Starting with an outline of the simulation domain, one adds

streamlines and equipotential lines following a set of rules. For

example, streamlines and equipotential lines must intersect at right

angles to form a set of curvilinear squares. If you are careful, you

can develop the unique pattern (and reproducible pattern) that

describes flow in the domain.

8. This chapter demonstrates how simple analytical solutions can be

used to describe some simple steady-state problems of flow. We

will return to analytical solutions again in Chapters 8-11 on well

hydraulics and regional ground-water flow.

33

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