An efficient transient‐state algorithm for evaluation of leakage through defective cutoff walls
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational journal for numerical and analytical methods in geomechanics (Print). 2021, 45 (1), 108-131. 10.1002/nag.3145
Artificial barriers are widely used to prevent leakages. However, due to construction errors during the wall installation, passages with small dimensions may occasionally penetrate through the barrier, undermining its tightness. A three‐dimensional discretized algorithm (TDA) is proposed for quantitatively estimating the transient‐state discharge rate through defective cutoff walls. By discretizing the wall into a three‐dimensional refined mesh grid, the algorithm enables an examination of penetrating passages, an evaluation of defect dimensions, and an estimation of discharge rate through the penetrating passages. A rigorous realization‐by‐realization comparison between the TDA and the finite element method (FEM) was made, and it was found that the TDA results show strong correlations with the FEM results, but at a remarkably lower (1/103‐1/104) computational cost. The TDA generally gives a discharge rate that is 0.1‐1.0 times greater than its FEM counterpart, as the lengthened seepage distance due to random corrugations in the penetrating untreated zone cannot be replicated by the TDA.