Transient Flow in Unsaturated Porous Media

by Sheng Hsiung Lin, Asst. Prof.; Dept. of Chemical Engrg., Polytechnic Inst. of New York, Brooklyn, N.Y.; formerly, Lect., Dept. of Chemical Engrg., Univ. of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 7, Pg. 975-982

Document Type: Journal Paper


Transient water movement in both horizontal and vertical unsaturated porous media is investigated. The nonlinear partial differential equation governing the one-dimensional flow is solved by the orthogonal collocation method. This method involves the approximation of the spatial derivative terms in the partial differential equation by an orthogonal polynomial and thus the partial differential equation is transformed into a set of ordinary differential equations which in turn can be integrated numerically. The present numerical solutions are found to be in excellent agreement with previous solutions for the cases under consideration. Because of its high accuracy, computational stability and easy implementation, the orthogonal collocation method can be a very good alternative for tackling these nonlinear diffusion problems.

Subject Headings: Transient flow | Porous media flow | Differential equations | Unsaturated flow | Nonlinear analysis | One-dimensional flow | Approximation methods | Numerical methods

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