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A new method for solving nonlinear equations induced by the generalized
Boussinesq approach for modeling the
ow in unconfined aquifers.

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Adam Szyma

nski

adi epp@wp.pl

Environment Protection Program

Technical Report

2014

Abstract

We consider a closed-form solution to the nonlinear two-point boundary value problem,

vx (x, z)(

dh 2

dh

) +k

+ vx (x, z) = 0,

dx

dx

(1)

h(0) = HS ,

(2)

h(L) = HE ,

(3)

Vc (0, HS )

,

Vc (0, HE )

(4)

where: x [0, L], [0, 1], HE z HS , z = h(x), Vc (x, z) = [vx (x, z)2 + vz (x, z)2 ]1/2 . We define the functions

vx (x, z) and vz (x, z) as follows,

vx (x, h(x)) = 0.5kb(a + bx)1/2 ,

(5)

0 vx (x, h(x)) 0.5k,

(6)

) ] ],

(7)

k

where: a > 0, b < 0 are unknown real constants, and k, L, HS , HE are known real constants greater than zero.

The boundary value problem (1 7) presents an extension to the Standard Boussinesq Approach (SBA) and

describes the groundwater flow on the free-surface of an unconfined aquifer. We call it the Extended Boussinesq

Approach (EBA).

vz (x, h(x)) = 0.5k[1 + [1 4(

Introduction

In the report we consider the steady state flow in a homogeneous, isotropic, unconfined aquifer represented by a 2-D

vertical slab of length L, bounded by two-constant-head boundary conditions HS and HE . Relation (1) describes the

exact nonlinear differential equation governing the horizontal Darcy velocity component vx (x, h(x)) of the groundwater

flow at the free-surface elevation, where the function vx (x, h(x))) is defined by (5), and the unknown function h(x)

presents the geometrical location of the free-surface elevation. The coefficient k denotes the spatially constant saturated

hydraulic conductivity. Relation (6) shows that the horizontal Darcy velocity component should be bounded. The

physical explanation of (6) is presented by Szyma

nski (2011). The existence of the bottom of an aquifer is described by

the dimensionless coefficient . In terms of (17) the SBA based on the Dupuit assumption is treated as an approximation

S)

for the regional gradient m = (HE H

approaching zero as the limit. The detailed description of SBA is presented by

L

Bear (1979). However, it is not always clear when the SBA will faithfully reproduce the physical phenomena that one

attempts to model. Thus, in this report we follow the line presented by Baiocchi and Capelo (1984) and develop such

an extension of SBA that allows the regional gradient to be considered as a small, finite quantity. Formally, it means

that the vertical Darcy velocity component vz (x, h(x)) does always exist in contrary to the SBA, where vz (x, h(x)) 0.

Thus, the EBA is physically consistent. The present report is organized as follows: in section 2 we rediscussed some basic

issues related to the SBA. In section 3 we demonstrate the closed-form solution of the boundary value problem proposed,

and in section 4 an application of the Weierstrass Approximation Theorem in hydrology is shown. Finally, in section 5

conclusions are drawn.

Let us consider the linearized version of the two-point boundary value problem (1 7) in the following form,

k

dh

+ vx (x, z) = 0,

dx

(8)

h(0) = HS ,

(9)

h(L) = HE ,

(10)

HE

,

HS

(11)

where: x [0, L], HE HS , z = h(x), and the function vx (x, z) and vz (x, z) are given by,

vx (x, h(x)) = 0.5kb(a + bx)1/2 ,

(12)

vz (x, h(x)) 0,

(13)

where: a > 0, b < 0 are unknown real constants. The solution of the problem (8 13) can be find in a closed form,

h(x) = (a + bx)1/2 ,

(14)

(H 2 H 2 )

where: a = HS2 , and b = E L S . Note in passing that (14) is the positive solution of (8 13). By the positive solution

of (8 13) we understand a function h(x) which is positive on 0 x L and satisfies the differential equation (8) and

2

h(x)

boundary conditions (9, 10, 11). Additionally, d dx

< 0 for x [0, L] and the graph of (14) is convex upwards. We refer to

2

the problem (8 13) as the SBA. The solution (14) is well known in groundwater hydrology. For the detailed description

of the practical importance of the SBA the reader is refereed to Troch et al. (2013). From the heuristic point of view, the

SBA is assumed to be valid in mildly sloping aquifers characterized by nearly horizontal flow conditions. This assertion is

based on the flow being slowly-varying in the x-direction, and the pressure being nearly hydrostatic. However, it is clear

that the regional gradient m should be treated as an arbitrarily small quantity approaching zero as a limit to make the

SBA consistent. Thus, the relations (14), and (12) should be considered as an approximation for describing the flow on

the free-surface of groundwater. Unfortunately, (14) has recently been used for checking MODFLOW-NWT model (see

Niswonger et al.(2011)).

Let us now describe the basic difference between the SBA and the EBA. It is easy to observe that the solution of SBA

formally exists for an arbitrary value of the regional gradient m 0. In the case of EBA there exists an admissible set of

values for the regional gradient that depends on the geometrical characteristics of an aquifer. It means that if a regional

gradient considered for predicting the flow in an aquifer does not belong to the above-mentioned set, the solution of EBA

does not exist. From the physical point of view the following assumptions are required:

1. the regional gradient m is considered to be finite and sufficiently small i.e, |m| 1,

2. the value z = 0, which is treated as a horizontal impervious bottom of an aquifer, is only used as a reference datum for

the definition of potential energy, and

3. the components of the infiltration/exfiltration velocity at the free-surface elevation have been assumed to be equal to

zero.

The assumption |m| 1 is related to the relation (5), because the considered boundary value problem (1 7) should be

seen as a correction of the SBA. The physical meaning of the second assumption can be explained in the following way.

We are interested to develop the model using parameters related to flow characteristics at the free-surface elevation. In

this way we only need an information that the bottom of an aquifer does exist, but we are not obliged to consider the

exact value for the parameter HS (a characteristic depth of an aquifer). For the description of the bottom of an aquifer

the idea of a kinematic deepness is introduced. We call the coefficient the kinematic deepness of an aquifer (cf., (11)).

From the formal point of view can also be considered as a parameter describing the kinematic characteristics at the

free-surface. Using the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus the solution of (1) takes the form

Z

p

1 x

h(x) =

[k/vx (, h())] 1 + 1 4(vx (, h()) /k)2 d + HS ,

(15)

2 0

where an integration constant has been determined by the boundary condition (2). From (5) follows that

(i.e., vx (x, h(x)) is a strictly increasing function). Furthermore, we can show that

graph of the free-surface elevation (15) is convex upwards.

d h(x)

dx2

vx (x,h(x))

dx

>0

3.1

Solution of EBA

h(x) =

2 2

b [(a + bx)3/2 a3/2 (a b2 + bx)3/2 + (a b2 )3/2 ] + HS .

3

(16)

Next, using (16) and (3) we obtain the first equation needed for determining the unknown coefficients a and b. The second

one is obtained by means of (4). Finally, we have

F1 (c1 , f1 ) = 0,

(17)

F2 (c1 , f1 ) = 0,

(18)

(19)

where

3/2

a

L2 ,

(20)

b

L.

and f1 =

where: c1 =

The parameters of the nonlinear system of equations (17, 18) are m and . The unknowns are c1 and f1 . Of course, one

can use the Newton-Raphson method to find the solution of (17, 18) with appropriate accuracy. Unfortunately, it is not

the most efficient method. Thus, we want to present here the new technique which is more effective.

3.2

The basic idea of our method is to reduce the dimension of the system (17, 18), so that the 1-D bracketing search method

can be used. From the relation (18) follows that,

D = f1 /c1 = (C 1 + M2 )/(1 C),

(21)

M2 = f12 /c1 ,

(22)

(23)

(24)

(25)

where

where

2 2

H = (1 ) .

(26)

The equation (24) can be considered as the 1-D form of the system (17, 18). Indeed, having M2 as a solution of the

equation (24) we obtain the equivalent form of the system (17, 18) as follows,

f1 = D c1 ,

(27)

f12 = M2 c1 .

(28)

Of course, for solving (24) the 1-D bracketing search method should be used.

3.3

The solution of the boundary value problem (1 - 7) for = 1 can be find in a closed form. The free-surface elevation is

given by

h(x) = mx + HS ,

(29)

and the Darcy velocity components are calculated as follows,

vx (x, h(x)) =

km

,

1 + m2

(30)

vz (x, h(x)) =

km2

.

1 + m2

(31)

Weierstrass Approximation

Let us now assume that the appropriate approximation of the free-surface elevation was obtained using GPR method.

In this case, combining the relations (29), (30) and (31) with the well-known Weierstrass Approximation Theorem one

obtains the numerical method for calculating the velocity field on the free-surface of groundwater.

The Standard Boussnesq Approach has been extended to incorporate the vertical flow conditions induced by the existence

of the free-surface elevation in unconfined aquifers. The proposed model is suitable for predicting the geometrical location

of the free-surface elevation, and both velocity components at the free-surface. It is a nonlinear model that is based on

the flow characteristics at the free-surface elevation. In our method there is no need to use any linearization procedure

with respect to the boundary conditions at the free-surface, and the closed-form solution is obtained. The model is

characterized by two parameters, namely; regional gradient m and the so-called kinematic deepness of an aquifer denoted

by . Recently, we have used the method presented above for checking the FEFLOW model (see Szyma

nski (2014)).

References

Baiocchi, C., Capelo, A., 1984. Variational and Quasivariational Inequalities Application to Free Boundary Problems,

John Wiley, New York.

Bear, J., 1979. Hydraulics of Groundwater, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Niswonger, R.G., Panday, Sorab, and Ibaraki, Motomu, 2011. MODFLOW-NWT, A Newton formulation for MODFLOW2005: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 6A37, 44 p.

Szyma

nski, A., 2011. Darcy velocity on the free surface, EPP technical report.

Szyma

nski, A., 2014. Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW, EPP technical report.

Troch, P. A., et al. (2013), The importance of hydraulic groundwater theory in catchment hydrology: The legacy of

Wilfried Brutsaert and Jean-Yves Parlange, Water Resour. Res., 49, 50995116, doi: 10.1002/wrcr.20407.

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