Monte Carlo Simulations of Coupled Transient Seepage Flow and Soil Deformation in Levees

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Fred Thomas Tracy
Jodi L. Ryder
Martin T. Schultz
Ghada S. Ellithy
Benjamin R. Breland
T. Chris Massey
Maureen K. Corcoran

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to compare the results from two different computer programs of flow analyses
of two levees at Port Arthur, Texas where rising water of a flood from Hurricane Ike occurred on the levees. The first program (Program 1) is a two-dimensional (2-D) transient finite element program that couples the conservation of mass flow equation with accompanying hydraulic boundary conditions with the conservation of force equations with accompanying x and y displacement and force boundary conditions, thus yielding total head, x displacement, and y displacement as unknowns at each finite element node. The second program (Program 2) is a 2-D transient finite element program that considers only the conservation of mass flow
equation with its accompanying hydraulic boundary conditions, yielding only total head as the unknown at each finite element node. Compressive stresses can be computed at the centroid of each finite element when using the coupled program. Programs 1 and 2 were parallelized for high performance computing to consider thousands of realisations of the material properties. Since a single realisation requires as much as one hour of computer time for certain levees, the large realisation computation is made possible by utilising HPC. This Monte Carlo type analysis was used to compute the probability of unsatisfactory performance for under seepage, through seepage, and uplift for the two levees. Respective hydrographs from the flood resulting from Hurricane Ike were applied to each levee. When comparing the computations from the two programs, the most significant result was the two programs yielded significantly different values in the computed results in the two clay levees considered in this research.


 

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Section
Research Papers