American Society of Civil Engineers

Spherical Discrete Element Simulation of Seepage Flow with Particle-Fluid Interaction Using Coupled Open Source Software

by Feng Chen, (Geotechnical Engineer, HNTB Federal Division, Baton Rouge LA, 70802, USA. E-mail:, Eric C. Drumm, (Professor, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science Department, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 37996-20103, USA. E-mail:, and Georges Guiochon, (Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 37996-1600, and Division of Chemical Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, 37831-6120, USA. E-mail:
Section: Seepage and Porous Mechanics, pp. 253-260, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Geoenvironmental Engineering and Geotechnics: Progress in Modeling and Applications
Abstract: This paper investigates the seepage flow through idealized particle assemblies comprised of spherical elements. Comparisons between an analytical solution and numerical approximation using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) with coupled hydromechanical interaction between the particles and the pore fluid are provided. In the coupled flow DEM, the fluid motion is treated at the macroscopic scale by solving the local averaged Navier-Stokes equation, while the particle interaction is treated at the microscopic scale. The numerical solution is compared with the classical analytical solution in terms of quantity of flow and the pore pressure distribution.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Discrete elements
Computer software
Pore pressure