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This is the main particle tracking function. This is only a wrapper function for the various implementations of the particle tracking routine. Currently particle tracking is available only for linear prism elements, and the adaptive Runge-Kutta 45 time stepping scheme is the only option.

Version : 1.0

Author : George Kourakos


web :

Date 18-Mar-2014

Department of Land Air and Water

University of California Davis



[XYZ Vxyz exitflag] = ParticleTracking_main(sp, XY, Z, MSH, B, H, K, por, opt)


sp : [n_part x 3] starting positions of the particles

XY : [Np x 2] the x-y coordinates of the mesh nodes. It is assumed that the nodes on every layer have the same x-y coordinates and different Z coordinates.

Z : [Np x Nlay] are the z coordinates of the mesh nodes. Each column has the coordinates for a different layer. Column 1 has the elevations of the top layer and the last column the elevations of the bottom layer.

MSH : [Nel xN pel] is the 2D mesh, where Nel is the number of 2D elements and Npel is the number of dof per element

B : is the element connectivity of the 2D Mesh. This is generated using the Build2Dmeshinfocpp function.

H : [Np x Nlay] is the head distribution formatted in a similar manner as the elevation matrix Z.

K : is a cell array with 3 rows at most. Each row is a [Np or Nel x Nlay] matrix. If 3 rows are given Kx = K{1,1}, Ky = K{2,1}, Kz = K{3,1} If 2 rows are given Kx = Ky = K{1,1}, Kz = K{2,1} If 2 row is given Kx = Ky = Kz = K{1,1}. Each array is formatted in a similar to elevation matrix Z. If the number of rows is equal to Np the it is assumed that hydraulic conductivity is defined on nodes. If the number of rows is equal to Nel it is assumed that the hydraulic conductivity is defined on elements.

por : is porosity and it is either a scalar or a matrix [Np or Nel x Nlay]

opt : is an option structure. For details see part_options.


XYZ : is a cell array with rows equal to number of starting position particles. Each cell contains the coordinates of a streamline. You can plot the streamlines all toghether using the streamline function e.g. streamline(XYZ)

Vxyz : is a cell array with same format as the XYZ. This array contains the velocities at each position of the streamline.

exitflag : gives the reason for terminating the particle tracking. For example : -8 Initial position of particle is outside of the domain; -1 the Particle has stucked in the flow field (Yes that can happend!!); 2 Particle exits from the side That's can be ok unless the side is no flow boundary. (Unfortunatelyl that can happend too); 1 Particle exits normally from the top surface; -9 Particle exits from the bottom; That's not ok if the bottom is no flow boundary. To avoid this set the option bed_corr to true (see part_options).

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