The groundwater analysis in Slide is a finite element analysis, and therefore a finite element mesh is required in order to solve the problem. Slide incorporates a state-of-the-art 2 dimensional automatic finite element mesh generator, which can generate meshes based on either triangular or quadrilateral finite elements.
The finite element mesh can be generated with a single mouse click, by selecting the Discretize and Mesh option. However, to give the user maximum flexibility in defining the mesh, the mesh generation procedure can be performed in two steps – Discretization and Meshing.
The Discretize option subdivides the boundary line segments into discretizations which will form the framework of the finite element mesh.
After discretizing, the Generate Mesh option will generate the finite element mesh, which will be based on the discretization, and the Mesh Setup options (total number of elements and element type).
Customizing the Mesh
If the mesh or discretization requires customization, several options are available in the Mesh menu, which allow the user to customize the total number of finite elements and the element type (in the Mesh Setup option), customize the discretization of the model boundaries (Custom Discretize option or Double Discretizations option) and more advanced mesh refinement options (see the Mesh Refinement topic).
After the mesh has been generated, default boundary conditions will be in effect on the external boundary. However, in general, it will be necessary for the user to customize the boundary conditions (e.g. Total Head, Infiltration, etc), in order to define the groundwater problem that they wish to solve. This is done with the Set Boundary Conditions option. Set Boundary Conditions is only enabled AFTER the mesh has been generated.