A CBS-type stabilizing algorithm for the consolidation of saturated porous media

V. A. Salomoni, B. A. Schrefler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The presented method stems from the works by Zienkiewicz and co-workers for coupled fluid/thermal problems starting from the early 1990s. They propose algorithms to overcome the difficulties connected to the application of the FEM to the area of fluid mechanics, which include the problems of singular behaviour in incompressibility and the problems connected to convective terms. The major step forward was to introduce the concept of characteristic lines (the particle paths in a simple convection situation): for a class of problems with a single scalar variable, the equations in the characteristic co-ordinates regain self-adjointness. The procedure is called characteristic based split algorithm (CBS). We use here a CBS-type procedure for a saturated deformable elastic porous medium, in which the fluid velocity is governed by Darcy's equation (which comes directly from Navier-Stokes ones). The physical-mathematical model is a fully coupled one and is here used to study an incompressible flow inside a continuum with incompressible solid grains. The power of the adopted algorithm is to treat the basic equations in their strong form and to transform a usual 'u-p' problem into a 'u-v-p' one, where u generally indicates the displacement of the solid matrix and p and v the pressure and velocity of the fluid, respectively. Attention is focused on the expression of Darcy's velocity which is considered as the starting point of the algorithm. The accuracy of the scheme is checked by comparing the present predictions in a typical consolidation test with available analytical and numerical u-p solutions. A good fitting among different results has been obtained. It is further shown that the procedure eliminates the oscillations at the onset of consolidation, typical for many schemes. The FEM code Ed-Multifield has been used for implementing and testing the procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-527
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 28 2005


  • Coupling
  • Fractional step
  • Soil mechanics
  • Stabilization techniques

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computational Mechanics


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