WIT Press

The Analytic Element Method And Supporting GIS Geodatabase Model


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D. R. Steward, P. Le Grand &E. A. Bernard


This manuscript presents an overview of the Analytic Element Method, and illustrates how this mathematical technique is ideally suited to utilization within a GIS geodatabase model. The Analytic Element Method contains a set of analytic elements that exactly satisfy the governing partial differential equation and represent flow associated with a point, line or polygon. Elements are superimposed to simulate local and regional flow within an infinite domain. A GIS geodatabase model is presented here, which organizes spatial data in a vector format that relates directly to analytic elements. Scripts have been developed to automate the creation of groundwater models from the GIS geodatabase using the computer model MLAEM (Multi-Layer Analytic Element Model). An example is presented to illustrate the efficacy of this approach. Keywords: Analytic Element Method, groundwater, ground water, Geographic Information System, GIS, geodatabase. 1 Introduction The Analytic Element Method was developed by Otto D. L. Strack and his students at the University of Minnesota over the past 30 years. This mathematical representation of groundwater flow has been published in books by Strack [8] and Haitjema [3], and the most recent advances in the methodology was recently summarized in Strack [9]. The AEM began as a means of solving problems with idealized shapes (e.g., flow around cylindrical objects) and has evolved into a robust solution technique capable of modeling local detail within regional models the size of nations (e.g., NAGROM in The Netherlands; www.riza.nl).


Analytic Element Method, groundwater, ground water, Geographic Information System, GIS, geodatabase