A periodic finite element aquifer flow model


AQUIFEM-P allows a user to calculate the response of an aquifer to periodic changes in boundary conditions, recharge or pumping, i.e. changes which can be represented by a sinusoidal variation in time. The model calculates periodic responses using a method based on complex algebra, rather than by time-stepping. AQUIFEM-P computes a steady state solution followed by responses at one or more frequencies. Although intended for application to two-dimensional groundwater flow in plan, AQUIFEM-P can also be applied to a two-dimensional cross-section, with appropriate interpretation of model parameters.

AQUIFEM-P has been used to test analytical solutions presented in a journal paper by Townley (1995). It is also the basis for recently completed PhD research by Tony Smith on fluctuating groundwater flow patterns near surface water bodies. In that context, it provides a periodic version of FLOWTHRU.


Townley, L.R. (1993), AQUIFEM-P: A Periodic Finite Element Aquifer Flow Model: User's Manual and Description, Version 1.0, CSIRO Division of Water Resources, Technical Memorandum 93/13, 72pp., plus software.

History of Development

The model AQUIFEM-P is an extension of the single-layer model AQUIFEM-1, developed at MIT and described by Wilson, Townley and Sa da Costa (1979) and Townley and Wilson (1980). It has no relationship with the single-layer model AQUIFEM developed by Voss and Pinder, with the multi-layered model AQUIFEM-N developed by Wilson, Riordan, Schreiber and Harley at Resource Analysis Inc. in the late 1970s, or with the multi-layered model AQUIFEM-N developed independently by Townley.


AQUIFEM-P is supplied "as is" without warranty of any kind. In no event will the authors or their organisations be liable for damages resulting from any defect in the software or manual. All reasonable care has been taken to ensure that AQUIFEM-P operates as described in its documentation. It is each user's responsibility to verify the applicability of AQUIFEM-P to a field site of interest, and to check the results for consistency.


AQUIFEM-P is available for PCs, as well as a graphical pre- and post-processor. Further information about AQUIFEM-P can be obtained by contacting me.


Copyright © 2005 by Lloyd Townley
Last revised: 6 May 2005