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# 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
Aquifer

Aquiclude
Aquitard
Perched groundwater
Artesian

Un-confined
Confined

Artesian

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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

## Flow of water occurs between two

points because a difference in
consists of:
soils)

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

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## 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.
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 in confined isotropic

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.
equipotential lines.

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a)
b)

Draw flow net

THANK YOU!

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

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