An adaptive characteristics method for advective-diffusive transport

Ouyang Zhihua, Derek Elsworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


An adaptive characteristics method is presented for the solution of advective-diffusive groundwater transport problems. The method decomposes the transport processes into advective and diffusive transport components. Advective flows are defined by using a streamtube incrementing procedure, based on the method of characteristics, to define the position of advective front. Diffusive transport orthogonal to the front is represented by an array of propagating streamtube elements, with dimension determined from analytical solution of the one-dimensional diffusion equation. Adaptive time scaling is used to moderate the dimensions and aspect ratios of the advective and diffusive streamtube elements as appropriate to the dominant transport mechanism. Finite differences are used to solve for transport ahead of the advancing front. The distribution of streamtubes are predetermined from a direct boundary element algorithm. Comparison with analytical results for a one-dimensional transport geometry indicates agreement for Peclet numbers between zero and infinity. Solution for transport in two-dimensional domains illustrates excellent agreement for Peclet numbers from zero to 25.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)682-692
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Mathematical Modelling
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1989

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Applied Mathematics


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