Variational Principles for Fluid Flow in Porous Media

by Shlomo P. Neuman, Sr. Sci.; Dept. Soils and Water, Volcani Inst. of Agric. Res., Bet Dagan, Israel; formerly, act. Asst. Prof., Dept. Civ. Engrg., Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA,
Paul A. Witherspoon, Professional Geol. Engr.; Dept. Civ. Engrg., Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 2, Pg. 359-374

Document Type: Journal Paper


Variational methods are being employed to an increasing degree in solving various types of transport problems. It appears that these methods will have increasing use in attacking many boundary-value problems concerned with fluid flow through porous media. The basic approach is to replace the boundary-value problem by an appropriate variational principle whose minimizing function is the solution to the problem. The material herein develops variational principles for several problems of confined and unconfined flow.

Subject Headings: Fluid flow | Porous media flow | Boundary value problem | Confined flow

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