Finite Element Method of Analyzing Steady Seepage with a Free Surface

Shlomo P. Neuman, Paul A. Witherspoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


A new iterative approach to steady seepage of ground water with a free surface has been developed using the finite element method. This approach eliminates a number of difficulties that were inherent in the iterative procedures previously used to solve this problem and rapid convergence is now assured in all cases. The method is applicable to heterogeneous porous media with complex geometric boundaries and arbitrary degrees of anisotropy. It can handle problems where the free surface is discontinuous and where portions of the free surface are vertical or near vertical. In addition, infiltration or evapotranspiration at the free surface can be handled with ease. Several examples are included to demonstrate the power of this new approach and to show how it can apply to a wider variety of free surface problems than has been possible before.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-897
Number of pages9
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1970
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Finite Element Method of Analyzing Steady Seepage with a Free Surface'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this