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In the technical note the numerical solution of the nonlinear elliptical boundary value
problem describing the groundwater flow in unconfined aquifers is presented. The well-known software
package FEFLOW (6.2) is used for obtaining the numerical approximation of the solution.

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E E

nvironment nvironment P P

rotection rotection P P

rogram rogram

ADAM SZYMASKI ADAM SZYMASKI

Kierzkowo 22A, 84-210 Choczewo Kierzkowo 22A, 84-210 Choczewo

Polan an

adi_epp@wp.pl adi_epp@wp.pl

Open Access: This report is distributed under the terms of

the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License

which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and

reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and

source are credited.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Our

Our

Problems

Problems

Connected Connected

With With

FEFLOW

FEFLOW

In the technical note the numerical solution of the nonlinear elliptical boundary value

problem describing the groundwater flow in unconfined aquifers is presented !he well"#nown software

pac#age !L"# $%&' is used for obtaining the numerical appro(imation of the solution

Results: !he geometrical location of the free"surface elevation) and the hori*ontal velocity

component on the free"surface are calculated with the appropriate appro(imation +nfortunately) the

accuracy of vertical velocity component on the free"surface is strongly mesh"dependent It implies that for

the wea# vertical mesh resolution the #inematic boundary condition on the free"surface is not fulfilled not fulfilled ,

refinement of the vertical grid ma#es the situation better) but there are domains where the #inematic

boundary condition is still not fulfilled still not fulfilled $a window effect'

!"C#$ICA% &"P'&! !"C#$ICA% &"P'&!

2014

-eaders are requested to notify the EPP EPP of any errors found in this document using the email address available on the top of this page .elp us to protect the environment ma#ing the hydrological tools better/

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW 2

1( In)ro*c)ion

% %et us consider a $%, steady, groundwater flow in a homogeneous, isotropic, unconfined

a&uifer ' ( )*+, y, ,- & &

$

. / 0 + 0 L+, / 0 y 0 Ly and / 0 , 0 h*+, y-1, where , ( h*+, y- is the

un2nown free3surface elevation, h*/, y- ( 45 for / 0 y 0 Ly, h*L+, y- ( 4! for / 0 y 0 Ly, 45 6

4!. 7n terms of the pie,ometric head function 8*+, y, ,- this problem can be written as follows,

98:9, ( * 98:9,-

;

< *98:9+-

;

< *98:9y-

;

/ 0 + 0 L+ and / 0 y 0 Ly, , ( h*+, y-, *=-

8*+, y, ,- ( h*+, y- / 0 + 0 L+ and / 0 y 0 Ly, , ( h*+, y-, *;-

9

;

8:9+

;

< 9

;

8:9y

;

< 9

;

8:9,

;

( / in ', *$-

8*/, y, ,- ( 45 / 0 y 0 Ly and / 0 , 0 h*+, y-, *>-

8*L+ , y, ,- ( 4! / 0 y 0 Ly and / 0 , 0 h*+, y-, *?-

98*+, y, /-:9, ( / / 0 + 0 L+ and / 0 y 0 Ly, *@-

+, ( 3 K -ra *8- 2+, ( 2,+ ( /, 2++ ( 2,, ( 2 6 /. *A-

!&uations = and ; represent the 2inematic and dynamic boundary conditions on the free3surface,

respectively. !&uation *$- describes the continuity of the flow. Conditions *>, ?- are used to

defined the pie,ometric head on the %irichlet boundary segments of the domain '. !&uation *@-

is considered here in terms of the homogeneous Neumann boundary condition. The last relation

*A- is %arcyBs law, where K represents the hydraulic conductivity tensor, symmetric with

components on the diagonal not e&ual to /. .

,

is the %arcy velocity vector with components

*v

+

*+, y, ,-, v

y

*+, y, ,-, v

,

*+, y, ,--. To the best of our 2nowledge, the problem *=3@- has not been

solved in a closed3form as yet. Table = shows parameters used for numerical calculations.

!a/le 1

#S 0c12 #" 0c12 k 0c131in2 %40c12 %5 0c12

;?.@ ;?.; C$.D ;=.@/ ;.$>

2( E E4)ene B Bo*,,ine,6 A A77roach - 1oel 8I9

: :rom the formal point of view the boundary value problem *=3@- can be considered as a

;% problem on the *+, ,- plane. Thus, we use here the following two3point boundary value

problem for describing the velocity field on the free3surface of ' *e. g., Sz51a;,ki

2009

-.

v+*+,,- Edh*+-:d+F

;

< 2 dh*+-:d+ < v+*+,,- ( / , ( h*+-, / 0 + 0 L

+

*D-

whereG , ( h*+- 3 describes the geometrical location of the free3surface elevation,

v+*+, h*+-- 3 is the hori,ontal component of the %arcy velocity on the free3surface,

v+*+, h*+-- ( 3 /.? 2 b *a < b +-

3=:;

, / 0 + 0 L

+

, and a, b are un2nown real constants,

v

,

*+, h*+-- ( 32 *dh:d+-

;

E= < *dh:d+-

;

F

3=

3 is the vertical component of the %arcy velocity

on the free3surface. The boundary conditions are as follows,

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW <

h*/- ( 4

5

, h*L

+

- ( 4

!

,

*C-

The solution of the nonlinear boundary value problem *D3C- can be obtained in a closed3form.

Hlease note that the un2nown function areG h*+-, v+*+, h*+-- and v

,

*+, h*+--.

<( E E4)ene B Bo*,,ine,6 A A77roach - 1oel 8II9

= =e also consider an e+tension of the model *7-. The e+tension mentioned can be written

in the following way *e. g., Sz51a;,ki

2009

-,

v+*+,,- Edh*+-:d+F

;

< 2 dh*+-:d+ < v+*+,,- ( / , ( h*+-, / 0 + 0 L

+

*=/-

h*/- ( 4

5

, h*L

+

- ( 4

!

,

*==-

I ( Jc*/, 4

5

-:Jc*L

+

, 4

!

-, / 0 I 0 = *=;-

whereG Jc*+,,- ( Ev+*+,,-

;

< v,*+,,-

;

F

=:;

, , ( h*+- and v+*+,h*+-- ( 3 /.? 2 b *a < b +-

3=:;

.

4( W Weier,)ra,,-F Fe>low A A77ro4i1a)ion

% %et us assume that the appropriate appro+imation of the free3surface elevation was

calculated by !L"#

*see ig. $, fileG h_eflow.dat, pointsG *? ?--. 7n this case, combining the

following relations,

v+*+,h*+-- ( 3 2 dh*+-:d+ E= < *dh*+-:d+-

;

F

3=

/ 0 + 0 L

+

, *=$-

v,*+,h*+-- ( 3 2 Edh*+-:d+F

;

E= < *dh*+-:d+-

;

F

3=

/ 0 + 0 L

+

, *=>-

with the well32nown Weierstrass Approximation Theorem one obtains the numerical method for

calculating the velocity field on the free3surface of groundwater.

@( K Kine1a)ic B Bo*nar5 C Coni)ion 1oel

% %et us now assume that the appropriate appro+imation of the hori,ontal velocity

component on the free3surface was calculated by !L"# *see ig. >, fileG J+_eflow.dat,

pointsG *? ?--. Ksing the relation that follows from *=$3=>-, namely,

v,*+,h*+--:2 ( /.? )3= < E=3 >*v+*+,h*+---:2-

;

F

=:;

1 / 0 v+*+,h*+-- 0 /.?2, *=?-

one obtains the model for calculating the vertical velocity component which fulfills the

2inematic boundary condition on the free3surface.

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW 4

A( &e,*l), o> calc*la)ion,

B B 'ne-la5er ,ol*)ion 'ne-la5er ,ol*)ion

I In igure = we show the input data for !L"# calculations.

igure ; shows the !3mesh that has been used for numerical calculations.

Hoints *L L- are applied for describing the ;% cross3section that has been used to show the results

of computations. igure $ presents the free3surface of the groundwater, where L ( L

+

.

Fig. 1: Problem summary window of !L"#

Fig. 2: FE-mesh generaed by !L"#

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW @

igure > shows the hori,ontal component of the %arcy velocity on the free3surface, where L (

L

+

.

igures ? and ?a present the vertical component of the %arcy velocity on the free3surface, where

L ( L

+

.

Fig. !: Free-surfa"e ele#aion of groundwaer

Fig. $: %ori&onal "om'onen of he (ar"y #elo"iy on he free-surfa"e

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW A

ig. @ shows the graphical representation of the 2inematic boundary condition on the free3

surface.

Fig. ): *eri"al "om'onen of he (ar"y #elo"iy on he free-surfa"e

Fig. )a: *eri"al "om'onen of he (ar"y #elo"iy on he free-surfa"e

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW C

B B :o*r-la5er, ,ol*)ion :o*r-la5er, ,ol*)ion 7n igures A and Aa we show the input data for the ne+t !L"#

calculations.

Fig. +: ,ra'hi"al re'resenaion of he -inemai" boundary "ondiion .1)/

Fig. 0: Problem summary window of FEF12W

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW 8

The hori,ontal mesh configuration is shown in ig. ;. The hori,ontal %arcy velocity component

for this simulation may be seen in ig. D *cf., fileG eflow_>.dat, pointsG *L--, where L (L

+

.

The vertical %arcy velocity component is presented in ig. C *cf., fileG eflow_>.dat, pointsG *L--,

Fig. 0a: !( 1ayer "onfiguraion

Fig. 3: %ori&onal "om'onen of he (ar"y #elo"iy on he free-surfa"e

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW D

where L (L

+

.

ig. =/ shows the graphical representation of the 2inematic boundary condition on the free3

surface.

Fig. 4: *eri"al "om'onen of he (ar"y #elo"iy on he free-surfa"e

Fig. 15: ,ra'hi"al re'resenaion of he -inemai" boundary "ondiion .1)/

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW 10

The location of the free3surface elevation is the same as in ig.$.

C( S*11ar5

I In this note we present the numerical tests of !L"# with respect to the nonlinear

boundary value problem *=3@-. !L"# is an acronym of finite element subsurface flow

simulation system and solves the governing flow e&uations in porous media by a

multidimensional finite element method including also the free3surface boundary value

problems. 7t should be noted that !L"# has been developed by %473#A5M, and is a must for

anyone doing practical hydrological computing. 4ydrologists find this software totally

persuasive, despite the fact that, insofar we 2now, the only cases where the full mathematical

proofs of consistence are available are analytical models. #e used here the demo3version @.;//

of !L"#

with the improved consistent velocity appro+imation by rol2oviN3Onabner.

#e have compared the !L"#

numerical solution of *=3@- with two nonlinear

analytical models developed by EPP for calculating the flow in unconfined a&uifers. or the

geometrical location of the un2nown free3surface elevation we obtained nearly the same results

*see ig. $-. The hori,ontal component of the %arcy velocity on the free3surface is also

compatible with analytical solutions *see ig. >-. Knfortunately, the vertical component of the

%arcy velocity calculated by !L"# does not fulfill any acceptable criterion *see ig. ?, fileG

J,_eflow.dat, pointsG *? ?--.

To verify the results of analytical models, we have introduced two additional techni&ues.

The #3A uses the geometrical location of the free3surface elevation which has been numerically

calculated by !L"# *cf., ig. $ *? ?--, and has nothing to do with analytical models mentioned

above. #e have recalculated the hori,ontal component of the %arcy velocity by means of #3A

*pointsG E E- for comparing to !L"# results *cf., ig. >, pointsG *? ?--. According to the !3mesh

presented in ig. ; the results obtained are consistent.

Ne+t, we used the #3A for calculating the vertical component of the %arcy velocity on the free3

surface *cf., ig. ?a, pointsG *? ?--. "nce again, the results obtained are comparable with analytical

models.

7nserting the hori,ontal component of the %arcy velocity calculated by !L"# *cf., ig .>,

pointsG *? ?-- into the OPC model, we have calculated the vertical component of the %arcy

velocity once more time *cf., ig. ?a, pointsG *F F--. The result obtained is compatible with

analytical models. urthermore, ig. @ clearly shows that the velocity field calculated by

!L"# does not fulfill the 2inematic boundary condition *=-.

#e have also prepared the second test, where the refinement of the vertical grid has been

ta2en into account. The results are presented in igs D, C and =/. The hori,ontal and vertical

%arcy velocities on the free3surface are only comparable with analytical solutions in the middle

of the domain ', far away from the two constant3head boundaries. #e called it a window effect.

ig. =/ shows that the 2inematic boundary condition is also appro+imately fulfilled in the middle

of the domain ', but the situation is much better comparing to the above3mentioned one3layer

e+ample. 4owever, in the vicinity of the two constant3head boundaries the 2inematic boundary

condition is violated. #hat are the conse&uences Q 5imply, the %arcy velocity components are

not correctly calculated.

#e assume that this is the so3called conceptual problem induced by the numerical

procedure implemented. 7ndeed, from *A- simply follows that the vertical %arcy velocity

component should be e&ual to ,ero, for e+ample, at the points *L

+

, y, 4

!

-, where / 0 y 0 Ly. 7t

follows from the dynamic boundary condition *;-. 4owever, simultaneously, from the 2inematic

Our Our Problems Connected With FEFLOW Problems Connected With FEFLOW 11

boundary condition follows that the above3mentioned component cannot be e&ual to ,ero. Thus,

we suppose that there is a singularity at separation point between the fi+ed and free3surface

boundaries *cf., ig. ==-.

#e postulate that the analytical model should be incorporated into an algorithm for the

numerical solution of each hydrological problem where such a problem occurs. 7t improves the

numerical solution in the neighborhood of singular separation points. The numerical method

wor2s well, and gives good results without the need for a special refinement of the grid in the

region of separation points.

8( Concl*,ion,

! !he above3presented calculations support the assertion that the special numerical

techni&ue for calculating the components of the %arcy velocity on the free3surface in vicinity of

separation points is not implemented in !L"#. 7 this case, one cannot deny that the !L"#

results presented give at casual glance the impression of being grossly mesh3dependent.

4owever, the !L"#Bs numerical procedure for establishing the geometrical location of the

free3surface elevation is wor2ing with the appropriate accuracy. 7n fact, the results of analytical

models do not differ from #3A and OPC models. 7n addition, the results of the four3layers

e+ample are also closed to the #3A model. 7t should be noted that the #3A only needs $D>

mesh3elements for calculating the comparable results to !L"# which uses =?$@ mesh3

elements. Thus, it is easy to see that #3A wor2s better than the improved consistent velocity

appro+imation by rol2oviN3Onabner. 7n the other words, we show that in the analytical model

conte+t, some corrections are necessary for the !L"# to be really useful. The underlying idea

can already be read into the doctrine of Rlearned ignoranceR of Nicholas of CusaG R#herever one

is, one thin2s is the center.R RThe world has its center everywhere, and thus nowhere, and its

circumference is nowhere.R

Ac2nowledgments

"ther very different maSor intellectual influences, very helpful in diverse ways, that have not yet been ac2nowledged

suitably are those of our Oate.

D( &e>erence,

6&yma7s-i8 A.8

2554

.

"n a generali,ation of the Poussines& approach for modeling the

flow in unconfined a&uifers, EPP technical report,

*h':99www.s"ribd."om9do"91$04!1)$9Boussines:-a''roa"h.-

Fig. 11 %ori&onal #elo"iy "om'onen a he se'araion 'oin

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