You are on page 1of 5

10/7/2014

SEEPAGE DRAINAGE AND FLOW


NETS
Dr. Ivan L. Guzman
CE 341
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Civil & Environmental Engineering Department
Fall 2014

GROUNDWATER HYDROLOGY

Groundwater table (GWT)


Phreatic zone
Vadose zone
Aquifer

Aquiclude
Aquitard
Perched groundwater
Artesian

Un-confined
Confined

Artesian

10/7/2014

TWO DIMENSIONAL FLOW: FLOW NETS

Flow Lines through


Soil Strata

In two dimensional flow situations,


such as when zones of flow or
directions of flow are irregular,
where water enters and escapes
from a permeable zone of soil or
where the flow boundaries are not
well defined, flow nets are used to
evaluate flow.
Flow nets are a pictorial method of
studying the path that moving
water follows.

Points of Similar
Energy Head

Flow of water occurs between two


points because a difference in
energy (energy head). Head
consists of:
Potential head
Pressure head
Velocity head (assumed zero in
soils)

FLOW NET COMPONENTS

Flow Lines: Is a line along which a


water molecule will travel from the
upstream to the downstream side
in a permeable soil medium
Flow tubes (or channels) are the
strips between any two flow lines
Nf = Number of flow tubes

Equipotential lines: lines


connecting points of equal total
head.
Equipotential lines always intersect
flow lines at right angles.
The flow elements that are formed
are approximate squares (length=
width)
Nd = # of Equipotential Drops

10/7/2014

FLOW NETS: CALCULATION OF SEEPAGE FLOW


Flow nets can be used to
calculate seepage flow by
modifying Darcys law.
Consider one square in a flow
net.
Let q and h denote the
flow rate drop and the head
drop in that square.
Each square has x units
wide and y units long, and
a width (L) perpendicular
to the figure.
Thus, hydraulic gradient (i)
is given by h/x and A is
equal to (yL).

Unless it is specified, L is
usually assigned a value of
unity (1)

FLOW NETS: CALCULATION OF SEEPAGE FLOW


Since Nd represents the
number of equipotential drops:
h = h/ Nd
If Nf denotes the number of
flow tunnels then:
q = Q/ Nf

Q = Total flow rate through flow net


k = Hydraulic conductivity
L = Length of aquifer perpendicular
to figure
h = Head loss through aquifer
Nf = Number of flow tubes
Nd = Number of equipotential drops

10/7/2014

FLOW NETS: CALCULATION OF SEEPAGE FLOW

Example: 1
For the following flow net the hydraulic
conductivity is 4.80x10^-3 cm/s.
Calculate:
The total rate of seepage per unit
width of sheet pile through the
permeable stratum.

If the total length of the sheet pile


wall is 300 ft, what is the total rate of
flow?
How high above the ground surface
will the water rise if piezometers are
placed at points A, B and C.
What is the flow through flow tube 2?

FLOW NETS: CONSTRUCTION OF FLOW NET

Flow nets in confined isotropic


soils follow these rules:
No flow lines can intersect.
No equipotential lines can
intersect.
Flow and equip. lines intersect
at right angles.
x / y ratio must be maintained
for every cell.
Lines are smooth

First step: Draw a scaled


drawing of a cross section of the
flow path that includes:

Pervious soil mass


Impervious boundaries that restrict
flow
Pervious boundaries through which
water enters and exits soil.

Second step: Sketch several flow


lines (2 or 3 are usually enough).
They should be approximately
parallel to the impervious
boundaries and perpendicular to
pervious boundaries.
Third step: Sketch equipotential
lines. They should cross flow
lines perpendicularly. They
should form quasi-squares with
flow lines.
Fourth step: Adjust flow and
equipotential lines.

10/7/2014

FLOW NETS: CONSTRUCTION OF FLOW NET

Example For the following dam:


a)
b)

Identify boundary conditions and what they represent.


Draw flow net

THANK YOU!

Reference: Principles of Geotechnical Engineering, Das et al (2014)


Geotechnical Engineering, Principles and Practice, Coduto et al (2011)