An Adaptive Finite-Element Model for Calculating Subsurface Transport of Contaminant

Document Type



A finite-element method which incorporates mesh adaptation is used to calculate ground-water flow and pollutant transport. The formulation is based on the equations for conservation of mass, Darcy's law for an anisotropic medium, and the time-dependent species transport equation. Modifications have been implemented to the finite-element formulation to enhance computational speed and reduce storage; Petrov-Galerkin weighting of the advection terms provides numerical stability. An explicit time marching scheme is used to solve the transient equations. By utilizing unstructured adaptive meshing, species concentration and location of steep fronts are accurately resolved, even though one begins with a coarse mesh. The algorithm currently runs on PC and workstation class computers.


Finite element method; Groundwater – Pollution; Groundwater flow; Pollutants – Transportation


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Engineering | Environmental Monitoring | Hydraulic Engineering | Hydrology | Natural Resources and Conservation


Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the item. Publisher policy does not allow archiving the final published version. If a post-print (author's peer-reviewed manuscript) is allowed and available, or publisher policy changes, the item will be deposited.

UNLV article access

Search your library