An Analytical Approach for Levee Underseepage Analysis

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Elsevier B. V.
Levee underseepage analyses are commonly performed to assess the risk of erosion and piping of levee foundation soils. They are also commonly used to estimate the quantity of seepage that is expected to pass beneath a levee over time, and to assess the risk of excessively high pore pressures at various points in the foundation. A variety of approaches have historically been utilized to perform steady-state underseepage analyses in levees, including flow-nets, closed-form analytical solutions, and numerical techniques such as finite difference or finite element analyses. This paper provides a derivation of a series of closed-form \blanket theory" analytical equations that can be used to perform a levee underseepage analysis. This derivation starts from a generic confined flow analytical solution, of the type that is common in groundwater flow analyses. The solution is then extended to simulate semiconfined flow beneath a levee in a shallow aquifer. Equations are presented for calculating total head and seepage quantity values for different model boundary conditions. A typical example problem is used to compare the analytical equations that are derived with the analytical equations that are presented in the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) levee design manual. The results provide validation for both the equations that are presented and the conventional USACE analytical design approach. Using the results from the example problem, general guidance and suggestions are provided for designers that use closed-form analytical approaches for modeling levee underseepage.
Author's final manuscript
Analytical approach, Groundwater flow, Levees, Underseepage, Pressure head, Seepage quantity
Meehan, C. L. and Benjasupattananan, S. (2012). \An Analytical Approach for Levee Underseepage Analysis." Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 470-471, 201-211. (doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.08.050)