Algorithms for Solving Darcian Flow in Structured Porous Media

Michal Kuráž, Petr Mayer


This paper presents several algorithms that were implemented in DRUtES [1], a new open source project. DRUtES is a finite element solver for coupled nonlinear parabolic problems, namely the Richards equation with the dual porosity approach (modeling the flow of liquids in a porous medium). Mass balance consistency is crucial in any hydrological balance and contaminant transportation evaluations. An incorrect approximation of the mass term greatly depreciates the results that are obtained. An algorithm for automatic time step selection is presented, as the proper time step length is crucial for achieving accuracy of the Euler time integration method. Various problems arise with poor conditioning of the Richards equation: the computational domain is clustered into subregions separated by a wetting front, and the nonlinear constitutive functions cover a high range of values, while a very simple diagonal preconditioning method greatly improves the matrix properties. The results are presented here, together with an analysis.


Richards equation; time step adaptivity; distinct unsaturated hydraulic properties; problem conditioning; diagonal preconditioner

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague