University of California

The use of electronic computers to solve subsurface drainage problems


George S. Taylor
J. N. Luthin

Authors Affiliations

George S. Taylor was Professor of Agronomy, Ohio State University and Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station; J. N. Luthin was Professor of Irrigation and Irrigationist in the Agricultural Experiment Station, Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 34(12):543-558. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v34n12p543. August 1963.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


The procedure for using the computer to solve steady-state drainage problems is described in detail. Flow charts are presented for the solution of problems that include stratified soils.

The precision of the results as a function of mesh size is discussed. The cost of the computer program as a function of the desired precision is also discussed.

The usefulness of the computer is illustrated by several solutions for ponded flow into drains in stratified soils. The potential use of the computer in other subsurface drainage problems is discussed and a proposal is made for obtaining solutions of the falling water table case in tile drainage.

Literature Cited

Childs E. C. The water-table, equipotentials and streamlines in drained land: III. Soil Science. 1945. 59:405-415. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-194505000-00006 [CrossRef]

Isherwood J. D. Water-table recession in tile-drained land. J. Geophys. Res. 1959. 64(7):795-804. DOI: 10.1029/JZ064i007p00795 [CrossRef]

Kirkham Don. Flow of ponded water into drain tubes in soil overlying an impervious layer. Trans. Am. Geophys. Union. 1949. 30:369-385. DOI: 10.1029/TR030i003p00369 [CrossRef]

Kirkham Don, Gaskell R. E. The falling water table in tile and ditch drainage. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 1950. 15:37-42.

Luthin James N., Gaskell R. E. Numerical solutions for tile drainage of layered soils. Trans. Am. Geophys. Union. 1950. 31(4):595-602. DOI: 10.1029/TR031i004p00595 [CrossRef]

Vimoke Bunyut, Taylor George S. Simulating water flow in soils with an electrical resistance network. 1962. U. S. Dept. Agr., Agricultural Research Service. p. 41-65.

Vimoke B. S., Tyra T. D., Thiel T. J., Taylor George S. Improvements in construction and use of resistance networks for studying drainage problems. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc. 1962. 26(2):203-207.

Young D. M. Iterative methods for solving partial difference equations of elliptic type. Trans. Am. Math. Soc. 1954. 76:92-111. DOI: 10.2307/1990745 [CrossRef]

Young D. M. Solution of linear systems by iteration. Proc. Sympt. Appl. Math. 1956. 6:283-298. DOI: 10.1090/psapm/006/0081539 [CrossRef]

Young David, Lerch Francis. The numerical solution of Laplace’s equation on ORDVAC. Ballistic Res. Lab. Mem. Rept. 1953. 708(July):

Taylor G, Luthin J. 1963. The use of electronic computers to solve subsurface drainage problems. Hilgardia 34(12):543-558. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v34n12p543
Webmaster Email: sjosterman@ucanr.edu