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Geotechnical Engineering KNS2163

The Department of Civil Engineering


Universiti Malaysia Sarawak

Theory of Seepage & Flow Nets


(Week 1)

Semester 2 Year 2015

Lecturer: Alsidqi Hasan


Outlines
Theory of seepage
Flow nets
Flow nets construction
Theory of seepage
Seepage: Flow of liquids (water) through soils pore.

Ground surface
Water
table Unsaturated

Saturated (-)u

Pressure of water in soil pore is (+)u


called Pore water pressure.
It is normally denoted by u

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Theory of seepage

Examples

Seepage through earth dam

Photo: seepage through earth dam


(source: http://civil-engg-world.blogspot.com/2014/08/piping-through-
foundation-Homogeneous-Dam-P-2.html)

Seepage through soils under the dam (the dam is


impervious)
Theory of seepage
Types of flow:
With respect to time:
Steady flow = flow pattern has been established
Unsteady flow (transient)= something in the process of
changing (pressure, water table, flow rate, etc.)
With respect to nature:
Laminar flow = water flows in a smooth and orderly
fashion. Head loss is proportional to the velocity of flow
Turbulent flow = water swirls as it moves. Head loss is
proportional to the velocity of flow raised to an
exponent.
Theory of seepage
Types of flow contd :
With respect to boundaries:
Confined flow = flow takes place between impervious
boundaries. Non hydrostatic pressure. Eg. Artesian flow.
Unconfined flow = occurs under gravity. Hydrostatic
pressure.

http://www.in.gov/dnr/water/7258.htm
Theory of seepage

Types of flow contd :


With respect to direction:
One dimensional flow (x direction)
Two dimensional flow (x, y directions)
Three dimensional flow (x, y, z directions)

Most soils (except gravels), the flow is laminar


Most seepage problems are steady state flow
Theory of seepage
Water flows from high energy point to low energy point
The energy at any point in groundwater includes:
1. Potential energy, due to its elevation above the
datum
2. Strain energy, due to the pressure in water
3. Kinetic energy, due to its velocity
Unit of energy is Joule.
Instead of Joule, Head (or hydraulic head, in meter or
feet) is a convenient way to express the energy of
water as the corresponding height.
Theory of seepage
+2.3 m
h
+2 m

hpA

Q hpB

elevation
A +1.2 m
soils
L B +1 m

hzA
hzB

Datum
+0 m

Thus:
1.Potential energy -> Elevation head, hz ( at point A hz = 1.2 m, at point B hz = 1 m)
2.Strain energy -> Pressure head, hp ( at point A hz = 2.3-1.2 m, at point B hz = 2-1 m)
3.Kinetic energy -> Velocity head, hv = v2/2g, where v = velocity and g = gravity. (note:
in seepage problems the velocity is very small negligible).
Total head = Elevation head + Pressure Head + Velocity head
(Bernoullis Equation)
Theory of seepage
During the flow of water in soils (seepage), some energy is lost
due to friction. Thus:
The loss of energy between A and B =
Total head of A Total head of B
h = (hzA+hpA)- (hzB+hpB) = 2.3-2 m = 0.3 m
h is called Head loss
Hydraulic gradient (i) is defined as:
= /L
Where i = hydraulic gradient,
h = head loss,
L = distance between point A and point B
(water travel distance)
Theory of seepage
Pore water pressure (u) is given as: =
Where = pore water pressure
= pressure head
= unit weight of water = 9.81 kN/m3
Hydrostatic condition is where the following conditions apply:
1. The pore water pressure is due solely to force of gravity
2. Soils is not in the process of settling and shearing
3. The aquifer is unconfined
4. The groundwater is stationary
In hydrostatic condition the pore water pressure is simply: = = wzw
Where u = pore water pressure
uh = hydrostatic pore water pressure
= unit weight of water = 9.81 kN/m3
= depth from the water table to the point
Theory of seepage

Example

hL
hB C
B Datum
D hD

At point A pressure head = ., elevation head = ., total head = .


At point B pressure head = ., elevation head = ., total head = .
At point C pressure head = ., elevation head = ., total head = .
At point D pressure head = ., elevation head = ., total head = .
Head loss between A and C h =

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Theory of seepage

Example

hL
water hB C
B Datum
D hD water

soils soils
seepage

At point A pressure head = 0, elevation head = hL, total head = hL


At point B pressure head = hB, elevation head = hL-hB, total head = hL
At point C pressure head = 0, elevation head = 0, total head = 0
At point D pressure head = hD, elevation head = -hD, total head = 0
Head loss between A and C h = hL

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Theory of seepage
+2.3 m
h
+2 m

hpA

Q hpB
A
A
soils +1.2 m
L B +1 m

hzA
hzB

Datum
+0 m

Flow water through soils in One-Dimensional (1D) Darcys law:


= = = /
Where Q = flow rate (m3/s)
k = hydraulic conductivity or coefficient of permeability, or permeability (m/s) of
soils,
i = hydraulic gradient,
A = area perpendicular to the flow direction (m2)
v = average velocity (m/s) vs = seepage velocity (m/s) n=porosity
k is a property of soils-fluid, which depends on soil properties and fluid properties.
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Laboratory tests Constant head and falling head permeability tests
Theory of seepage
Specific surcharge, flow flux, flow rate per unit area

= ==v

Flow flux resultant from two directions (x,y)
= + =( + )+( + )
=(kxxix + kxyiy) +(kyxix + kxyiy)

=(kxx + kxy ) +(kyx + kxy )

Note:
qij = flux in i-direction due to
=
In matrix form: gradient in j-direction
kij = hydraulic conductivity
leading to flux in i-direction due
to gradient in j-direction
Theory of seepage
Flow flux resultant from three directions (x,y,z)



=


kij= kji=> symmetrical matrix
Magnitude of flow flux = 2 + 2 + 2

Bearing = tan-1


Inclination = tan-1
2 + 2
Theory of seepage
z
Two-dimensional (2D) flow dx

Suppose qx and qz are flow


Soil dz
per unit area in x and z qx
direction, respectively.
qz

y x
qx and qz are flow per unit area in x and z direction, respectively.
Flow entering = Flow leaving

+ = ( + ) + ( + )


+ =0


+ =0

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Theory of seepage

+ =0 and = =


+ =0 Darcys law

where k = permeability or hydraulic conductivity (m/s),
i = hydraulic gradient,
dh = head loss (m), and
dx = flow travel distance (m)
For isotropic & homogeneous soils kx = kz=constant , Thus:

+ =0 ..Laplace Equation

In Three-Dimensional (3D)

+ + =0 Laplace Equation

Theory of seepage
Analytical solution for complex boundary problems
(i.e., Laplace) in geotechnical application is not trivial

Simpler solutions graphical method (Flow nets)

Use of flow nets:


1. Determination of rate of flow
2. Determination of uplift pressure
3. Determination of exit gradient
Flownet of seepage

Flow Nets
through dam
(Unconfined flow)

dam
reservoir Q
Q Q
Graphical
method Q
Flow Nets Q Q Q Q Impermeable stratum

Impermeable stratum
Flow nets of seepage through dam and Flownet of seepage
seepage underneath dam under the dam

(Confined Flow)
Flow Nets

Flow nets of seepage underneath sheet pile


Flow nets

Flow net is the graphical solution of the Laplace equation.


It consists of two sets of lines
One set of lines are called flow lines or stream lines.
No 1-1-1,2-2-2,3-3-3,4-4-4 and 5-5-5 (in the above figure) are
flow lines
The flow occurs along the flow lines (no flow across the flow
line)
Flow Nets

Another set of lines are equipotential lines (equipotential


drops)
The A-A-A to F-F-F, G-G and H-H are equipotential lines.
At any point in a equipotential line, the total head is
constant.
Flow Nets

The M and N points are in A-A-A equipotential line.


They both have the same total head.
Flow Nets

The space between two adjacent flow lines is called flow


channel.
Number of flow channel (Nf) = Number of flow lines - 1
Total head loss (drop) in the flow channel = hd = Total head of
thr first equipotential line Total head of the last equipotential
line
Flow Nets

The difference in the total head between two


equipotential lines is the head drop between those two
equipotential lines. E.g. head drop between equipotentaial
line 1 and 2 = h1 h2
Where h1 = total head of equipotential line 1
h2 = total head of equipotential line 2
Flow Nets

There are 8 equipotential lines.


The number of head drops = 7
Number of head drops (Nd) = Number of equipotential lines - 1
Flow Nets

If the property of the soils/medium is the same in all


direction , then it is called isotropic (kx = ky = kz)
In isotropic soils, flow lines and equipotential lines
intersect orthogonally.
Flow Nets Construction

1. Draw details of the problem to a chosen scale


2. Determine the flow boundaries:
ABCD, and EF are flow lines.
GA and DH are equipotential lines.
Flow Nets Construction

3. Draw a set of flow lines within the flow boundaries


keeping in mind that the flow lines do not intersect
each other.
4. Draw a set of equipotential lines within the flow
boundaries keeping in mind that the flow lines and the
equipotential lines intersect each other at right angles
Flow Nets Construction

5. Adjust the number of flow lines and equipotential lines


such that the network is made of curvilinear squares.
6. More accurate curvilinear squares can be done by
increasing the number of flow lines and equipotential
lines.
Week 1 Finished
Questions?