Differential Quadrature Method for Two-Dimensional Unsaturated Water Flow

Document Type: Article


1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Shiraz University of Technology, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Engineering, Najaf Abad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najaf Abad, Iran


This paper presents numerical solution of Richards' equation for water flow through unsaturated porous media. Differential Quadrature Method (DQM) is employed for the first time to solve the governing equations in two space dimensions. The moisture content based of Richards' equation is considered. This equation is known as a highly nonlinear partial differential equation due to strong nonlinearity between hydraulic conductivity (and diffusivity) and moisture content. In order to investigate the robustness of DQM in dealing with such strong nonlinearities, two popular constitutive models i.e. White and Broadbrige (1988), and Van Genuchten (1980) models are investigated for the 2D case. Analytical solution based on Brooks and Coley model in a special 1D case is used to compare the results with those of DQM. For the 2D case, the study also demonstrates that DQM with considerably smaller number of grid points gives excellent results which are in close agreement with other numerical techniques such as multigrid approach reported in the literature.


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