Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Dams; Levees; Relief wells; Seepage; Underseepage


"Flood risk reduction structures such as dams and levees are important systems that provide significant benefits to the nation. Relief wells reduce the substratum water pressures that can compromise them via internal erosion. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) analytical method to design relief well systems by calculating discharge and excess head along an infinite line of wells was developed from the 1930s – 1950s. The research presented here increases our understanding of the method’s history and uses analytical and numerical models to improve current infinite and finite well system design practices. The historical development of this method was reviewed, and numerical modeling of well systems was used to verify the different nomogram versions used in design manuals. Early equations were analyzed and related to their modern versions. An early chart error was identified, the potential impacts on well system design were characterized, and a corrective procedure was developed to assist designers in evaluating old systems. Average head for a well line was better defined with analytical equations and numerical models as an overestimation of head landward of the wells. Models were used to examine landward maximum head and to create a new design variable and charts for integration into the USACE method so that head landward of an infinite line can be more accurately calculated. Finally, the assumption of an infinite line of relief wells was studied, and numerical models were used to investigate well lines that have a defined, finite length. Uplift along and landward of finite well lines were studied while varying input parameters, and new variables and charts were developed so the existing design method can evaluate finite well lines"--Abstract, p. iv


Grote, Katherine R.

Committee Member(s)

Cawlfield, Jeffrey D.
Guy, Erich
Rogers, J. David
Zhang, Xiong


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Geological Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2022


xiv, 170 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes_bibliographical_references_(page 169 )


© 2022 Andrew Keffer, All Rights Reserved

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 12229