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Homework Help: Ground water flow question

  1. May 23, 2014 #1
    Its attached below. I don't understand how you work out the total head. Can someone explain how you do it? I'm really struggling.

    I know how to do the elevation, which is just the height above/below the datum level. And I've checked the solutions as well, it seems like you're supposed to work out the total head before the pressure head.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2014 #2


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    What are the "total head", "pressure head" and "pore water pressure"?
    Can you explain that to you grand-mother?
  4. May 23, 2014 #3
    'head' is simply stress (or pressure) mulitplied by depth

    for total head is the total pressure as it were
  5. May 23, 2014 #4


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    Do you think your grand mother could understand?
    Could you explain those things in a tangible way?
    For example, by comparing what you measure if free water versus water in a soil?

    In addition, I don't think that "pressure x depth" is related to the "head".
    As I am from Belgium, I am not used with this terminology.
    However, I looked at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_head and it looks like that "pressure head" is the height of fluid that would produce by gravity the same pressure. In some way, it is the pressure expressed in meters of fluid.

    In a "Pressure Casserol", the pressure is unrelated to the depth of water insided the "Pressure Casserol". Yet, it can be expressed in head of fluid, and the numerical value might be meters while the "Pressure Casserol" would only be 20 cm high.

    See also this picture, where head is shown by the measuring tubes.

    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  6. May 23, 2014 #5
    The head is defined as [itex]H=\frac{p}{ρg}+(z-z_0)[/itex], where z-z0 is the distance measured upward from the Ordinance Datum z0. So, at points P and C, the head H is 1 meter (there is no flow resistance between points P and C). At point A, the figure shows that the head is 6 meters above the Ordinance Datum. At point B, because the flow is steady, the head is the average of points A and C, or 3.5 meters. The upward seepage velocity is given by:

    [tex]v=- K\frac{(H_A-H_C)}{(z_A-z_C)}[/tex]

    where K is the hydraulic conductivity (10-4 m/s).
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