Seepage Through Dams in the Complex Potential Plane

by Roland W. Jeppson,

Serial Information: Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division, 1968, Vol. 94, Issue 1, Pg. 23-40

Document Type: Journal Paper


The solution of seepage through a homogeneous isotropic or anisotropic earth dam is obtained by finite differences. The x and y coordinates are considered the dependent variables and the velocity potential and the stream function the independent variables. The boundary value problems for y and x are formulated in the complex potential plane. Since the size of the flow field in the complex potential plane is unknown from a specification of the size and shape of the dam, the final solution is obtained from a cycle of solutions each subsequent one of which is obtained in a field of more nearly correct size. Comparisons are given between the coordinates on the phreatic line obtained by this finite difference method and those obtainable from a solution by the velocity hodograph. Summarizing the results from a number of solutions of different geometries, a graphical relation is given relating the geometric parameters of the dam and the seepage quantity.

Subject Headings: Seepage | Dams | Geometrics | Earthfill dams | Homogeneity | Isotropy | Anisotropy | Fluid velocity

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