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Steady State Groundwater

Three-dimension finite element groundwater seepage analysis can be carried out with RS3. 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 RS3 (i.e. you can run a seepage analysis without necessarily computing a stress analysis).

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

Project Settings

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

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

  • Analysis Type: Couple (Biot) or Uncoupled

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

  • Permeability Units

Hydraulic Material Properties

The hydraulic material properties (i.e. the permeability characteristics of your materials) are defined with the Define Hydraulic Properties Define Hydraulic Properties option in the Groundwater menu.

TIP: the Hydraulics tab can also be accessed directly from the Material Properties dialog.

Groundwater Boundary Conditions

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

Discharge Sections

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

Compute

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 option 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 the groundwater results, including pore pressure, total head, hydraulic gradient, velocity, etc. If the discharge sections were defined, you can view the volumetric flow rates across any surface. Other results such as flow vectors can be displayed.

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