The Hybrid Finite Element Mixing Cell Method: A New Flexible Method for Modelling Mine Groundwater Problems
Brouyere, Serge × Wildemeersch, Samuel Couturier, Julie Gardin, Nicolas Dassargues, Alain #
Mine Water and the Environment vol:28 issue:2 pages:102-114
Dewatering operations often stop at mine closure. The ground water rebound can have undesirable consequences, which numerical models can help one understand and manage. However, classical modelling techniques are relatively unsuitable to these contexts. While spatially-distributed and physically-based models suffer difficulties due to the lack of data and the complexity of geological and hydrogeological conditions, black-box models are too simple to deal with the problems effectively.
A new modelling method is proposed to simulate ground water environments in which water flows through mined (exploited) and unmined (unexploited) areas. Exploited zones are simulated using a group of mixing cells possibly interconnected by pipes. Unexploited zones are simultaneously simulated using classical finite elements. This combined approach allows explicit calculation of ground water flows around the mine and mean water levels in the exploited zones. Water exchanges between exploited zones and unexploited zones are simulated in the model using specifically-defined internal boundary conditions. The method is tested on synthetic cases of increasing complexity, and first results from a real case study are presented.