Numerical Analysis of Electro-Osmotic Flow in Soils

by Roland W. Lewis, Lect.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Wales, Swansea, U.K.,
Chris Humpheson, Res. Student; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Wales, Swansea, U.K.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 8, Pg. 603-616

Document Type: Journal Paper


The solution of two-dimensional transient seepage problems under the influence of both electrokinetic and hydrodynamic forces is found using the finite element method. The governing differential equations account for both the time-dependent consolidation and the time-dependent storage of electricity of the soil media. Solutions to problems are primarily presented as the movement of the phreatic surface with time, but pore water velocities, hydraulic, and electric potentials at the nodes are also calculated in the program. A practical problem, where electroosmosis was used because normal dewatering methods have proven ineffective, was analyzed using the numerical model. The results obtained compared favorably with measurements made in the field. The main advantage of the numerical model is that the electrode configuration can easily be changed to enable the most efficient arrangement to be determined.

Subject Headings: Soil analysis | Numerical models | Numerical analysis | Osmosis | Finite element method | Time dependence | Consolidated soils | Water table

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