Transport in Porous Media

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 239–257 | Cite as

Numerical analysis of one-dimensional nonlinear large-strain consolidation by the finite element method

  • Joseph R. Feldkamp


The nonlinear partial differential equation model of Gibson et al. which governs one-dimensional large-strain consolidation is solved numerically using a semi-discrete formulation involving a Galerkin weighted residual approach. The use of quadratic Lagrange basis functions usually complicates the task of solving the system of time-dependent ordinary differential equations that are obtained with the semi-discrete Galerkin procedure. However, an efficient algorithm has been discovered yielding the advantages of quadratic interpolation without undue computational burden.

Although considerable effort has already been made to solve the PDE of large-strain consolidation by numerical methods, a satisfactory set of benchmarks is still needed to assess accuracy. To fill this need, three procedures are reported which allow numerical solutions of the large-strain model to be reliably evaluated. One involves the use of perturbation methodology to provide a solution when only self-weight effects are present. A second utilizes an analytical solution developed by Philip when self-weight effects are absent and the third involves the exact calculation of the discharge flux through the upper boundary of a deposit consolidating through self-weight effects alone. All three are restricted to early-time consolidation and are illustrated in the context of the finite element method.

Key words

Nonlinear flow large-strain consolidation finite element method 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph R. Feldkamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonU.S.A.

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