Three-Dimensional Analysis of Seepage below and around Hydraulic Structures

Ashraf A. Ahmed, Abdallah S Bazaraa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper investigates the problem of seepage under the floor of hydraulic structures considering the compartment of flow that seeps through the surrounding banks of the canal. A computer program, utilizing a finite-element method and capable of handling three-dimensional (3D) saturated–unsaturated flow problems, was used. Different ratios of canal width/differential head applied on the structure were studied. The results produced from the two-dimensional (2D) analysis were observed to deviate largely from that obtained from 3D analysis of the same problem, despite the fact that the porous medium was isotropic and homogeneous. For example, the exit gradient obtained from 3D analysis was as high as 2.5 times its value obtained from 2D analysis. Uplift force acting upwards on the structure has also increased by about 46% compared with its value obtained from the 2D solution. When the canal width/ differential head ratio was 10 or higher, the 3D results were comparable to the 2D results. It is recommended to construct a core of low permeability soil in the banks of canal to reduce the seepage losses, uplift force, and exit gradient.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)243-247
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Hydrologic Engineering
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Environmental Science(all)
    • Environmental Chemistry
    • Water Science and Technology
    • Civil and Structural Engineering


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