Formulation of the Basic Groundwater Flow Equations

  • Kuniaki Sato
  • Yoshiaki Iwasa


Groundwater flow in the subsurface is analyzed by introducing transport law (Darcy’s law) and mass conservation law (continuity equation) coupled with the specified boundary conditions. Thus, in the so-called deductive method, transport equations for physical quantities such as groundwater, solute matter, and heat are applied to groundwater-related phenomena to obtain the necessary information.

In this chapter, first the methodology for the study of groundwater hydraulics is discussed. Then, basic knowledge such as water velocity, permeability testing, and the equations of motion and the continuity equations are introduced. Finally, the governing equations for groundwater flow in confined and unconfined aquifers and the flow of isothermal unsaturated groundwater are derived.

Groundwater flow in rock masses and gas (air) seepage, which has been not systematically analyzed, will also be introduced. For further explanation and detailed understanding, the application in groundwater flow will be explained by some solved problems.


Porous Medium Rock Mass Groundwater Flow Hydraulic Head Unconfined Aquifer 
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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kuniaki Sato
    • 1
  • Yoshiaki Iwasa
    • 2
  1. 1.Geosphere Research InstituteSaitama UniversitySaitamaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Earth Science and TechnologyOsakaJapan

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