K. Swetha, T.I. Eldho, L. Guneshwor Singh, A. Vinod Kumar

Groundwater flow problems are generally solved using analytical or numerical methods. Though analytical solutions are exact and preferable, they are not available for complex field problems. Hence numerical methods such as Finite Element and Finite Difference methods are used to solve complex groundwater problems. These conventional mesh/ grid-based numerical methods need construction of a detailed mesh/ grid. On the other hand, the meshless approach creates a system of algebraic equations on a collection of distributed nodes in the problem area and the boundary. As a result, it is easy to incorporate any modifications to the model at a later time by simply adding nodes to the domain. In this study a weak form meshless method known as local radial point interpolation method (LRPIM) which uses radial basis functions for approximation or interpolation is developed to solve the groundwater flow problems in a confined aquifer. The results obtained from the LRPIM model has been compared with other numerical methods for benchmark and real field problems, and are found to be satisfactory. Implementation of the essential boundary conditions was relatively easier in LRPIM and gave good accuracy for the problems considered. LRPIM can potentially be used as an alternative to the other conventional methods, especially where the domain boundary is irregular or varying with time.