Title: Finite element modelling of underground water flow in low permeability lands

Authors: Abhijeet Kulkarni, Bahareh Kaveh-Baghbaderani, Vahid Nassehi

Addresses: Chemical Engineering Department, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU, UK. ' Chemical Engineering Department, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU, UK. ' Chemical Engineering Department, Loughborough University, Loughborough, LE11 3TU, UK

Abstract: The present work deals with three-dimensional finite element analysis of water flow in saturated underground domains. This type of flow is a common feature of contaminants mobility under the ground and hence development of efficient models for such regimes is of significant environmental importance. The choice of the model equations mainly depends on the permeability of porous medium. For low permeability cases, Darcy|s equation provides the best choice whilst in higher permeability cases, the Brinkman equation must be used. Here, the use of Darcy equation provides a more realistic representation for underground flow. Therefore, first, we consider the validation of the Darcy equation for isotropic, homogenous, saturated porous media. The model is subsequently extended to the analysis of an underground domain in which the flow is partly obstructed by the presence of an impermeable barrier. The model is shown to yield theoretically expected results for both domains and is hence a reliable predictive tool.

Keywords: underground flow; hydrodynamics; Darcy flow; finite element method; FEM; modelling; 3D porous flow; water flow; saturated underground domains; fluid flow; water pollution; permeability; impermeable barriers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAET.2010.035394

International Journal of Computer Aided Engineering and Technology, 2010 Vol.2 No.4, pp.400 - 413

Available online: 30 Sep 2010 *

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