Solutions for combined saturated and unsaturated flow

John L. Nieber, R. A. Feddes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter considers the processes of water flow in variably saturated soils. It begins with the presentation of the currently accepted forms of governing differential equations used to represent variably saturated flow in porous media. The numerical methods for solving the equations of continuum mechanics in the many areas of engineering also have been adopted to the solution of the equations for flow in variably saturated porous media. These methods include classical finite difference methods, integrated finite difference methods, finite element methods, and boundary element methods. Of these methods, the classical finite difference method and the finite element methods have received most of the attention for applications in modeling flows through agricultural soils as well as in other applications related to modeling flows in subsurface hydrology. The chapter considers representative applications of the various numerical methods to the solution of the variably saturated flow equations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAgricultural Drainage
Number of pages68
ISBN (Electronic)9780891182306
ISBN (Print)9780891181415
StatePublished - Oct 26 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1999 American Society of Agronomy.


  • Agricultural soils
  • Boundary element method
  • Classical finite difference methods
  • Combined saturated and unsaturated flow
  • Finite element method
  • Integrated finite difference method
  • Mixed finite element methods


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