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Abstract and Applied Analysis
Volume 2014, Article ID 381753, 11 pages
Research Article

Analytical Solutions of a Space-Time Fractional Derivative of Groundwater Flow Equation

Institute for Groundwater Studies, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, P.O. Box 399, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Received 5 September 2013; Accepted 12 September 2013; Published 21 January 2014

Academic Editor: Hossein Jafari

Copyright © 2014 Abdon Atangana and P. D. Vermeulen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The classical Darcy law is generalized by regarding the water flow as a function of a noninteger order derivative of the piezometric head. This generalized law and the law of conservation of mass are then used to derive a new equation for groundwater flow. Two methods including Frobenius and Adomian decomposition method are used to obtain an asymptotic analytical solution to the generalized groundwater flow equation. The solution obtained via Frobenius method is valid in the vicinity of the borehole. This solution is in perfect agreement with the data observed from the pumping test performed by the institute for groundwater study on one of their boreholes settled on the test site of the University of the Free State. The test consisted of the pumping of the borehole at the constant discharge rate and monitoring the piezometric head for 350 minutes. Numerical solutions obtained via Adomian method are compared with the Barker generalized radial flow model for which a fractal dimension for the flow is assumed. Proposition for uncertainties in groundwater studies was given.