Seepage to ditches and topographic depressions in saturated and unsaturated soils

A. R. Kacimov*, Yu V. Obnosov, J. Šimůnek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


An isobar generated by a line or point sink draining a confined semi-infinite aquifer is an analytic curve, to which a steady 2-D plane or axisymmetric Darcian flow converges. This sink may represent an excavation, ditch, or wadi on Earth, or a channel on Mars. The strength of the sink controls the form of the ditch depression: for 2-D flow, the shape of the isobar varies from a zero-depth channel to a semicircle; for axisymmetric flow, depressions as flat as a disk or as deep as a hemisphere are reconstructed. In the model of axisymmetric flow, a fictitious J.R. Philip's point sink is mirrored by an infinite array of sinks and sources placed along a vertical line perpendicular to a horizontal water table. A topographic depression is kept at constant capillary pressure (water content, Kirchhoff potential). None of these singularities belongs to the real flow domain, evaporating unsaturated Gardnerian soil. Saturated flow towards a triangular, empty or partially-filled ditch is tackled by conformal mappings and the solution of Riemann's problem in a reference plane. The obtained seepage flow rate is used as a right-hand side in an ODE of a Cauchy problem, the solution of which gives the draw-up curves, i.e., the rise of the water level in an initially empty trench. HYDRUS-2D computations for flows in saturated and unsaturated soils match well the analytical solutions. The modeling results are applied to assessments of real hydrological fluxes on Earth and paleo-reconstructions of Martian hydrology-geomorphology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103732
JournalAdvances in Water Resources
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Analytic and HYDRUS solutions for Darcian 2-D and axisymmetric flows in saturated and unsaturated soils towards drainage ditches and topographic depressions
  • Boundary value problems involving seepage faces on Earth and Mars
  • Complex potential and conformal mappings
  • Evaporation and seepage exfiltration from shallow groundwater
  • Isobars, isotachs, constant piezometric head, and Kirchhoff potential lines
  • Method of images with sinks and sources for the Laplace equation and ADE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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