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Title: Numerical oscillation in seepage analysis of unsaturated soils
Authors: Karthikeyan, M. 
Tan, T.-S. 
Phoon, K.-K. 
Keywords: Finite element method
Numerical oscillation
Seepage analysis
Soil-water characteristic curve
Unsaturated soil
Issue Date: 2001
Citation: Karthikeyan, M., Tan, T.-S., Phoon, K.-K. (2001). Numerical oscillation in seepage analysis of unsaturated soils. Canadian Geotechnical Journal 38 (3) : 639-651. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The finite element method provides a popular means of analyzing groundwater flow in an unsaturated soil. In such problems, oscillatory results are often observed in the finite element solution. Such a phenomenon is observed, for example, when a typical finite element program such as Seep/w is used to model water infiltration into unsaturated soils. Numerical oscillations are often found near the wetting front where the hydraulic gradient is the steepest. These oscillations do not always reduce with decreasing or increasing time-step size alone; rather, an appropriate ratio between time-step size and element size is required. As the pore-water pressures predicted from a transient seepage analysis are used as input groundwater conditions for other types of analysis such as slope stability, contaminant transport, and capillary barrier, these oscillations may have important practical ramifications. Since seepage analysis is common in engineering practice, it is important that appropriate criteria are identified to minimize, if not to remove, the oscillations. In this paper, numerical examples are provided to demonstrate that a simple set of criteria, developed in heat diffusion problems with constant properties to control oscillation, is also applicable to one- and two-dimensional unsaturated seepage analyses, for a range of material nonlinearities that are frequently encountered in unsaturated soils.
Source Title: Canadian Geotechnical Journal
ISSN: 00083674
DOI: 10.1139/cgj-38-3-639
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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