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The Commonwealth Science Council (CSC) exists to assist member countries to acquire the scientific and technological infrastructure and capacity necessary for the development, use and management of natural resources. This series contains papers and reports resulting from its work programmes.


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A Practical Manual on Groundwater Modelling You do not have access to this content

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Festus F. Akindunni, E. O. Frind
01 Feb 1993
9781848595002 (PDF)

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This Practical Manual on Groundwater Modelling presents the basic theories of groundwater flow and contaminant transport as applied to the construction of numerical models. It covers the following areas:

• Basic principles of finite element methods as applied to groundwater problems (flow and transport)

• General procedures for constructing models

• Practical tracking methods for the solution of transport problems

• Illustrative examples and case studies

The manual is designed for practising hydrologists, environmental engineers and scientists who require a primer in groundwater modelling. It is also suitable for graduate students of groundwater hydrology.
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  • Introduction

    This manual presents the basic theories of groundwater flow and contaminant transport as applied to the construction of numerical models. Chapter one discusses some of the practical questions that may be investigated with a numerical model, the capabilities and limitations of such models, a review of the different ways of approximating solutions to groundwater problems and the general procedure for constructing a model.

  • Review of Governing Equations

    The main equations that govern the physics of groundwater flow and contaminant transport are the Darcy equation, the groundwater flow equation, and the transport equation. These are supplemented by the appropriate relationships expressing chemical and biochemical transformations.

  • Solution of Simultaneous Equations

    Numerical solutions of problems in groundwater studies create systems of simultaneous equations which could be very large. The number of unknown parameters in these equations are often between 100 and 1000, sometimes up to one million. The equations are also generally banded.

  • Finite Differences

    The basic objective of finite difference methods is to approximate the differential terms in the governing differential equations by corresponding different terms. The resulting difference equation is then written at a finite number of points in the domain. This results in a set of algebraic equations which are easier to solve than the original partial differential equation.

  • Finite Elements

    The main advantage of the finite element method is that domains of irregular geometry can be represented naturally. This advantage comes into play with 2D and 3D problems. Thus, although finite element solutions can be developed for any dimensionality, we will focus here on 2D domains.

  • Particle Tracking Methods

    Particle tracking methods offer a valuable alternative to finite difference and finite element methods for simulating contaminant transport. In particle tracking, the distribution of a solute in the groundwater is represented by a finite number of particles, where each particle carried either a certain concentration or a certain fraction of the total mass. The particles are moved through the domain according to the velocity field, and their behaviour is observed.

  • References
  • Glossary
  • Appendices
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