KWRRI Research Reports


A three-dimensional finite element computer program was developed for analyzing unsteady flow toward artesian wells. The program is designed especially for determining the drawdown around an artesian well penetrating fully or partially a nonhomogeneous and anisotropic aquifer of irregular shape and cross section. It can also be used as a general program for aquifer simulation and evaluation. A major advantage of the program lies in the minimum amount of input data required. By assuming the top and bottom boundaries of the aquifer as two arbitrary planes, the aquifer will be divided into six- or eight-node elements, and their nodal coordinates generated automatically. The program was well documented and can be used for solving complex problems encountered in practice.

The results of this study indicate that unsteady flow toward artesian wells can be analyzed effectively by three-dimensional finite elements. A comparison between the finite element and the exact mathematical solutions for a simple case shows that both solutions check closely. The solution obtained from the computer program for a complex case involving a nonhomogeneous aquifer was checked against that obtained previously by the use of cylindrical elements, and both are found in good agreements. The program was applied to a variety of cases, and reasonable results were obtained.

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The work on which this report is based was supported in part by funds provided by the Office of Water Resources Research, United States Department of the Interior, as authorized under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964.