• A finite element investigation of flow through an earth dam with open cracks using thin element technique

      Contractor, D. N.; Desai, C. S.; Elmore, Andrew Curtis, 1964- (The University of Arizona., 1988)
      The residual flow procedure (RFP) is used to conjunction with finite element method for solution of steady state free surface seepage in dams containing open cracks. The cracks are simulated using the thin-layer element concept. A comprehensive parametric study is performed to analyze the applicability of the numerical procedure with the thin layer element. Here, vertically trending as well as horizontally trending open cracks are considered with variable lengths, widths, and conductivities. It is found that the numerical results involve oscillatory, unstable, and physically unreasonable behavior beyond critical values of the geometry and conductivities. Here, the vertically trending configurations are found to be relatively more sensitive than the horizontally trending configurations. Although additional research will be needed to analyze other factors such as different crack geometries, transient flow, and different ratios of crack conductivities to surrounding soil conductivities, the results presented here suggest that the procedure can be applied for seepage analysis in dams containing open cracks.