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# Seepage

## 14.333 GEOTECHNICAL LABORATORY

Flow Nets

Introduction
Seepage
14.333 GEOTECHNICAL LABORATORY
Flow Nets

## Importance of Seepage Analysis

Seepage
14.333 GEOTECHNICAL LABORATORY
Flow Nets

## Importance of Seepage Analysis

Seepage
14.333 GEOTECHNICAL LABORATORY
Flow Nets

## Importance of Seepage Analysis

Seepage
14.333 GEOTECHNICAL LABORATORY
Flow Nets

## Importance of Seepage Analysis

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Flow Nets

## LAPLACE'S EQUATION OF CONTINUITY

z
y
x Flow around an
impervious
Sheet Pile Wall
Consider water flow
at Point A:

vx = Discharge Velocity
in x Direction

vz = Discharge Velocity
in z Direction
Figure 5.11. Das FGE (2005).
Y Direction Out Of Plane
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Flow Nets

## LAPLACE'S EQUATION OF CONTINUITY

Consider water flow at Point A
(Soil Block at Pt A shown left)
Rate of water flow into soil block in
x direction:
vxdzdy
Rate of water flow into soil block in
z direction:
vzdxdy
Rate of water flow out of soil block
in x,z directions:

## Figure 5.11. Das FGE (2005).

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Flow Nets

## LAPLACE'S EQUATION OF CONTINUITY

Consider water flow at Point A
(Soil Block at Pt A shown left)

## Revised 03/2013 Slide 3 of 23

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Flow Nets

## LAPLACE'S EQUATION OF CONTINUITY

Consider water flow at Point A
(Soil Block at Pt A shown left)
Using Darcy’s Law (v=ki)
h
vx kx xi xk x

h
vz kz zi zk z

## Figure 5.11. Das FGE (2005). 2h 2

h
kx kz 0
x2 z 2
Slide 4 of 23
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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: DEFINITION OF TERMS

Flow Net: Graphical Construction used to calculate
groundwater flow through soil. Comprised of Flow
Lines and Equipotential Lines.
Flow Line: A line along which a water particle moves
through a permeable soil medium. (a.k.a. streamline).
Flow Channel: Strip between any two adjacent Flow
Lines.
Equipotential Lines: A line along which the potential
head at all points is equal.
NOTE: Flow Lines and Equipotential Lines must meet at right angles!
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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: Assumptions

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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: Drawing Rules

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Flow Nets

FLOW NETS
FLOW AROUND
SHEET PILE WALL

## Figure 5.12a. Das FGE (2005).

Revised 03/2013
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Flow Nets

FLOW NETS
FLOW AROUND
SHEET PILE WALL

## Figure 5.12b. Das FGE (2005).

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## FLOW NETS: BOUNDARY CONDITIONS

1. The upstream and downstream surfaces of the
permeable layer (i.e. lines ab and de in Figure 12b
Das FGE (2005)) are equipotential lines.
2. Because ab and de are equipotential lines, all the
flow lines intersect them at right angles.
3. The boundary of the impervious layer (i.e. line fg in
Figure 12b Das FGE (2005)) is a flow line, as is the
surface of the impervious sheet pile (i.e. line acd in
Figure 12b Das FGE (2005)).
4. The equipontential lines intersect acd and fg
(Figure 12b Das FGE (2005)) at right angles.
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Flow Nets

FLOW NETS
FLOW UNDER AN
IMPERMEABLE
DAM

## Figure 5.13. Das FGE (2005).

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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: DEFINITION OF TERMS

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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: RULES FOR CREATING

FLOW NETS (FROM UTEXAS)
equipotential lines must be constant
(or, in those rare cases where this is Equi.

## not desirable, clearly stated, just as in

topographic contour maps)!
2. Equipotential lines must match known
Flow Line
boundary conditions.
3. Flow lines can never cross.
Revised 03/2013
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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: RULES FOR CREATING

FLOW NETS (FROM UTEXAS)
4. Refraction of flow lines must account
for differences in hydraulic
conductivity. Equi.

## 5. For isotropic media (what you have).

a) Flow lines must intersect equipotential
lines at right angles. Flow Line
b) The flow line-equipotential polygons
should approach curvilinear squares, as
shown in the Figure to the right.
Revised 03/2013
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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: RULES FOR CREATING

FLOW NETS (FROM UTEXAS)

## 6. The quantity of flow between any two Equi.

adjacent flow lines must be equal.
7. The quantity of flow between any two
stream lines is always constant.
Flow Line
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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: DRAWING PROCEDURE

(AFTER HARR (1962, P. 23)
1. Draw the boundaries of the flow region to scale so that all equipotential
lines and flow lines that are drawn can be terminated on these
boundaries.

2. Sketch lightly three or four flow lines, keeping in mind that they are
only a few of the infinite number of curves that must provide a smooth
transition between the boundary flow lines. As an aid in spacing of
these lines, it should be noted that the distance between adjacent flow
lines increases in the direction of the larger radius of curvature.

3. Sketch the equipotential lines, bearing in mind that they must intersect
all flow lines, including the boundary streamlines, at right angles and
that the enclosed figures must be (curvilinear) squares.
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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: DRAWING PROCEDURE

(FROM HARR (1962, P. 23)
4. Adjust the locations of the flow lines and the equipotential lines to
satisfy the requirements of step 3. This is a trail-and-error process
with the amount of correction being dependent upon the position of the
initial flow lines. The speed with which a successful flow net can be
drawn is highly contingent on the experience and judgment of the
individual. A beginner will find the suggestions in Casagrande (1940)
to be of assistance.

5. As a final check on the accuracy of the flow net, draw the diagonals of
the squares. These should also form smooth curves that intersect each
other at right angles.
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Wrong
Wrong

Correct!

## Unconfined groundwater flow nets on a slope

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## Cross-sectional flow net of a homogeneous and isotropic aquifer (Hubbert, 1940).

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## FLOW NETS: EXAMPLES

Contour map of the piezometric surface near Savannah, Georgia, 1957, showing closed contours
resulting from heavy local groundwater pumping (from Bedient, after USGS Water-Supply Paper 1611).
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## FLOW NETS: DAM EXAMPLES

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FLOW NETS
FLOW AROUND SHEET PILE WALL EXAMPLE
Therefore, flow
through one channel
is:

If Number of Flow
Channels = N f , then
the total flow for all
channels per unit
length is:

## Figure 5.12b. Das FGE (2005).

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Flow Nets

FLOW NETS
FLOW AROUND SHEET PILE WALL EXAMPLE
GIVEN:

## Flow Net in Figure 5.17.

Nf = 3
Nd= 6
kx=k z=5x10 -3 cm/sec

DETERMINE:

## a. How high water will

rise in piezometers at
points a, b, c, and d.
b. Rate of seepage
through flow channel
II.
c. Total rate of seepage.

## Figure 5.17. Das FGE (2005).

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FLOW NETS
FLOW AROUND SHEET PILE WALL EXAMPLE
SOLUTION:
H
Potential Drop =
Nd

At Pt a:
Water in standpipe =
(5m – 1x0.56m) = 4.44m

At Pt b:
Water in standpipe =
(5m – 2x0.56m) = 3.88m

At Pts c and d:
Water in standpipe =
(5m – 5x0.56m) = 2.20m
Figure 5.17. Das FGE (2005).
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Flow Nets

FLOW NETS
FLOW AROUND SHEET PILE WALL EXAMPLE
SOLUTION:

k = 5x10-3 cm/sec
k = 5x10-5 m/sec

q = (2.8x10-5 m3/sec/m) * 3
q = 8.4x10-5 m3/sec/m
Figure 5.17. Das FGE (2005).
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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: Examples

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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: Examples

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Flow Nets

## FLOW NETS: Examples

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Flow Nets