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CONSEQUENCE OF BACKWARD EULER AND CRANK-NICOLSOM TECHNIQUES IN THE FINITE ELEMENT MODEL FOR THE NUMERICAL SOLUTION OF VARIABLY SATURATED FLOW PROBLEMS

  • ISLAM, M.S. (DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS, SHAHJALAL UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY)
  • Received : 2015.03.15
  • Accepted : 2015.05.26
  • Published : 2015.06.25

Abstract

Modeling water flow in variably saturated, porous media is important in many branches of science and engineering. Highly nonlinear relationships between water content and hydraulic conductivity and soil-water pressure result in very steep wetting fronts causing numerical problems. These include poor efficiency when modeling water infiltration into very dry porous media, and numerical oscillation near a steep wetting front. A one-dimensional finite element formulation is developed for the numerical simulation of variably saturated flow systems. First order backward Euler implicit and second order Crank-Nicolson time discretization schemes are adopted as a solution strategy in this formulation based on Picard and Newton iterative techniques. Five examples are used to investigate the numerical performance of two approaches and the different factors are highlighted that can affect their convergence and efficiency. The first test case deals with sharp moisture front that infiltrates into the soil column. It shows the capability of providing a mass-conservative behavior. Saturated conditions are not developed in the second test case. Involving of dry initial condition and steep wetting front are the main numerical complexity of the third test example. Fourth test case is a rapid infiltration of water from the surface, followed by a period of redistribution of the water due to the dynamic boundary condition. The last one-dimensional test case involves flow into a layered soil with variable initial conditions. The numerical results indicate that the Crank-Nicolson scheme is inefficient compared to fully implicit backward Euler scheme for the layered soil problem but offers same accuracy for the other homogeneous soil cases.

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