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Steady State Overview

Finite element groundwater seepage analysis can be carried out with RS2. The seepage analysis can be used in conjunction with stress analysis (e.g. to calculate pore pressures for effective stress analysis). It can also be used as a standalone groundwater option, independently of the stress analysis in RS2 (i.e. you can run a seepage analysis without necessarily computing a stress analysis). Flow rates, hydraulic gradients and other quantities can be computed, in addition to pore pressure.

The steps required for steady state groundwater seepage analysis are summarized below.

Project Settings

You must first set the Groundwater Method = Steady State FEA in the Project Settings Project Settings icon dialog.

On the General page of the Project Settings dialog, you can choose:

  • Permeability Units

Material Properties

In the Define Hydraulic Properties Define Hydraulic Propertie icon dialog you can define the permeability characteristics of your materials for steady state groundwater seepage analysis.

In the Define Material Properties Define Material Properties icon dialog, you can select the Initial Water Condition to be Dry, Pore Water Pressure, Ru, or Grid.

Groundwater Boundary Conditions

The hydraulic boundary conditions for seepage analysis are defined with the Set Boundary Conditions Set Boundary Conditions icon option in the Groundwater menu (e.g. total head, pressure head, infiltration, nodal flow, unknown, seepage face, etc).

Discharge Sections

To compute the groundwater flow volume across a surface use the Add Discharge Section Add Discharge Section icon option in the Groundwater menu to define a discharge section.


The main Compute Compute icon option will compute both seepage and stress analysis.

To compute the seepage analysis only (without computing the stress analysis), you can use the Compute Groundwater Compute Groundwater icon option. This allows you to view and verify the seepage analysis results, before proceeding to the stress analysis.

Groundwater Results

After computing a seepage analysis you can view contours of groundwater results including pore pressure, total head, hydraulic gradient, velocity etc. If discharge sections were defined you can view the volumetric flow rates across any section. Other results such as flow vectors can be displayed.

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