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The spreadsheet block method is a practical tool for the solution of steady state confined groundwater flow problems. The methodology is simple and yet incorporates many of the aspects of the general flow condition, including: anisotropy, heterogeneity, pumping, and complex boundary geometry. In addition, since the spreadsheet equations are programmed manually, the method provides the user with a good physical intuition for a problem. Governing equations are developed for anisotropic and heterogeneous flow conditions. Mathematical treatment of boundary conditions is presented, as well as the means to incorporate pumping wells into the analysis. The sensitivity of solutions to choice of block spacing and number of calculation iterations is illustrated using two example problems. Lastly, advantages and limitations of the technique are discussed in comparison to other numerical solution methods.
groundwater, seepage, hydraulic conductivity, numerical modeling, spreadsheet
Assistant professor, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN