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Darcys Law and Hydraulic Head

1. Hydraulic Head
h1 h 2
Q=K
A
L

h1 and h2 are hydraulic


heads associated with
points 1 and 2.
The hydraulic head, or
total head, is a measure
of the potential of the
water fluid at the
measurement point.

hp1
h1

h2
hp2
Q
z1

z2

datum

Potential of a fluid at a specific point is the work required to


transform a unit of mass of fluid from an arbitrarily chosen state
to the state under consideration.

Three Types of Potentials


A. Pressure potential
work required to raise the water pressure
1 P
1 P m
P
W1 = V dP =
dP =
m 0
m 0 w
w

w : density of water assumed to be independent of pressure


V: volume
z=0
P=0
v=0
Reference state

z=z
P=P
v=v
Current state

B. Elevation potential
work required to raise the elevation

1 Z
W2 = mgdz = gz
m 0
C. Kinetic potential
work required to raise the velocity (dz = vdt)
v
1 Z
1 Z dv
v2
W3 = madz = m dz = vdv =
0
2
m 0
m 0 dt

Total potential:

v2
=
+ gz +
w
2
P

Unit [L2T-1]

Total [hydraulic] head:

v2
P
h= =
+z+
2g
g w g
Unit [L]

Total head or
hydraulic head:

P
v2
h=
+z+
w g
2g
Kinetic term

pressure
head [L]

elevation [L]

Piezometer
P1
g

h1
z1

P2
g

z2

h2
datum

A fluid moves from where the total head is higher to


where it is lower. For an ideal fluid (frictionless and
incompressible), the total head would stay constant.

(Fetter, p141)

Low elevation to high elevation

Flow between points of same elevation

Low pressure head to high pressure head

Flow between points of same pressure head

For Groundwater Flow

v2
P
+z+
h=
wg
2g

Kinetic term
negligible

h = hydraulic head [L]


P w g = pressure head [L]
z = elevation head [L]
Important: h is relative to datum (reference state)
piezometers
h1

flow
direction?

h2
A

B
datum

Water pressure varies with the water height

The pressure exerted


at each hole and the
force of the jet
depend on the height
of water above that
particular hole

A strong jet
indicates that the
recharge area may
be far from the
point!
Ways of water, p125

Example:
PA = ?
absolute pressure

PA =

Po: atmospheric pressure = 1 atm= 1.013 x 105 Pa

F
+ Po
A

Relative (gage)

PA

F
mg ( HA ) w g
PA =
=
=
= w gH
A
A
A
Given: H= 10 m
g = 9.8 m/s2
w= 1.0 g/cm3 = 1000 kg/m3

Pressure head at A?

hp

kg
m
PA = 1000 3 9.8 2 10m
m
s
N
kgm
= 98000 2 2 2 Pa
s m m

gH
PA
= w
= H = 10 m
w g
w g

In the previous example, what is the hydraulic head at A?


hA = ?
B

hA
how about PB?

z
datum

hB = ?

Piezometer
Depth to
Groundwater

Groundwater level

(Pressure P ( g )
w
head)
h

(hydraulic head)

A
(elevation z
head)

Datum

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wat/gws/gwbc/C02_origin.html

Piezometer (measure
water level at a point)

Water enters the


pipe through a point

Observation well or standpipe


(measure water level along a section)

Water enters the


pipe through a section

Nested piezometers to measure vertical hydraulic gradients

hA
hB
Datum
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wat/gws/gwbc/C02_origin.html

More on hydraulic head


h = z + hp = z +

P
g

Nested
Piezometers
A

Surface Elevation

225

225

225

Depth to piezometer

150

100

75

80

77

60

Pressure (hp)A =
Head: (hp)B =
(hp)C =
Gradient between:
AB =
BC =

150

datum

100

C
66

elevation
=225

77

Head: hA =
hB =
hC =

80

Depth to water

75

Coastal aquifers

Density Effect
When comparing heads of fluids with different densities,
pressure heads must be converted to the same reference density.

Ps = Pf

s ghs = f gh f
s
hf =

hs

By average
s = 1 .04 10 3 kg
f = 1 .0 10 3 kg

m3

m3

Point-water heads for a system


of three aquifers, each
containing water with a different
density

?
?
?

Aquifer

Water Density

Elevation Head

Point-Water
Head

999 kg/m3

50.00 m

55.00 m

1040 kg/m3

31.34 m

54.67 m

1100 kg/m3

7.95 m

51.88 m

Aquifer

Point-Water
Pressure Head

5.00 m

1.00

5.00 m

55.0 m

23.33 m

1.04

24.3 m

55.5 m

43.93 m

1.10

48.3 m

56.3 m

Fresh-Water
Fresh-Water
Pressure Head Head

Applicability of Darcys Law

vd
R=

laminar flow

R: Reynolds number [-]

: fluid density [ML-3]

turbulent flow

v: seepage velocity [LT-1]


d: diameter of passageway for fluid [L]

: viscosity [MT-1L-1]

Darcys Law is only applicable to laminar flow with


small Reynolds numbers (<1~10). Groundwater
behaves as laminar flow under most circumstances.