Flow Diversion around Elliptical Inhomogeneities Modeled with FEMLAB and the Analytic Element Method

John L. Nieber1,
Mark Bakker2

1University of Minnesota, 2Universety of Georgia

Sudden transitions in hydraulic properties in natural porous media systems associated with deposited inhomogeneities can lead to large diversions flow around or convergence of flow toward the inhomogeneity. Modeling of these features within large unsaturated zones containing such inhomogeneities is challenging because of the need for refined discretization near the boundary of the inhomogeneity.

In this paper we show how the FEMLAB modeling tool, with automatic adaptive gridding can lead to accurate modeling of flow around a single inhomogeneity. The near exact solution obtained with the Analytic Element Method is used as the basis of comparison of the FEMLAB accuracy.