Last Updated October 17, 2019


SEEP/W is a finite element CAD software product for analyzing groundwater seepage and excess pore-water pressure dissipation problems within porous materials such as soil and rock. Its comprehensive formulation allows you to consider analyses ranging from simple, saturated steady-state problems to sophisticated, saturated/unsaturated time-dependent problems. SEEP/W can be applied to the analysis and design of geotechnical, civil, hydrogeological, and mining engineering projects.

Key Features


SEEP/W supports a range of boundary condition options. Field data or user-specified functional relationships can be inputted to define hydrographs, reservoir fluctuations, rainfall cycles, vegetation effects, or land-climate interactions.


Integration of SEEP/W with SLOPE/W makes it possible to analyze the stability of any natural or man-made system subject to transient changes in pore-water pressure.


Hydraulic conductivity and volumetric water content functions can be estimated using built-in functions. The estimation process requires only fundamental information. A saturated-only material model is also available.


The rigorous saturated/unsaturated formulation of SEEP/W means that even the most demanding flow problems, such as infiltration into dry soil or seepage through complex upstream tailings dams, can be analyzed with ease.

SEEP/W models a full range of groundwater problems


Understanding the flow dynamics of a hydrogeological system is often the cornerstone of geo-engineering and earth science projects. SEEP/W can be used to analyze small-scale and large-scale groundwater flow systems comprising simple to complex stratigraphy and topography. Integration with CTRAN/W and/or TEMP/W provides the flexibility to incorporate density-dependent and frozen-ground effects on the movement of groundwater.


SEEP/W can be used to analyze and design subsurface dewatering systems for civil infrastructure, construction, and mining projects. The axisymmetric formulation is often used to analyze drawdown due to pumping wells or to conduct numerical simulations of drawdown tests. Plan view analysis provides an expedient approach for the design of well-spacing patterns, while the rigorous 2D formulation provides the power to analyze de-watering systems in mine slopes, infrastructure embankments such as bridge abutments, construction excavations, and more.


SEEP/W is used worldwide to analyze and design hydraulic structures subjected to a wide-range of anthropogenic and natural forces. From simple homogenous levees to large-scale tailings dams with complex internal drainage systems, SEEP/W is able to achieve results for even the most difficult seepage problems. The transient formulation and sophisticated boundary condition options allow SEEP/W to analyze flood events, rapid drawdown, and the effect of severe climate events on the performance of dams and levees.


The rigorous saturated-unsaturated formulation combined with a sophisticated land-climate interaction boundary condition can be used to model and design cover systems for mining and municipal waste facilities. Integration with CTRAN/W or TEMP/W allows for the analysis of solute and gas transport or thermally-driven vapor flow through cover systems.


Once you have solved your seepage analysis, SEEP/W offers many tools for viewing results. Generate contours or x-y plots of any computed parameter, such as head, pressure, gradient, velocity, and conductivity. Velocity vectors show flow direction and rate. Transient conditions can be shown as a changing water table over time. Interactively query computed values by clicking on any node, Gauss region, or flux section. Then prepare the results for your report by adding labels, axes, and pictures, or export the results into other applications such as Microsoft® Excel® for further analysis.

Typical Applications

SEEP/W can model almost any groundwater problem, including:

  • Dissipation of excess pore pressure after reservoir drawdown
  • Changes in pore-water pressure conditions within earth slopes due to infiltration of precipitation
  • Mounding of the groundwater table beneath water retention structures such as lagoons and tailings ponds
  • Effect of subsurface drains and injection wells
  • Drawdown of a water table due to pumping from an aquifer
  • Seepage flow quantities into excavations
  • Use AIR/W and consider the true matric suction (Ua-Uw) mechanisms
  • Integrate with TEMP/W and consider flow in freezing and thawing soils
  • plus many more!

The Power Of Integration

SEEP/W offers simple but powerful analytical capabilities when used in combination with other GeoStudio products.


Excess pore-water pressures generated in SIGMA/W by external loads (e.g., fill placement) can be used as initial conditions in a transient SEEP/W analysis. The simulated dissipation rates can be used to develop construction-staging schedules. SEEP/W pore-water pressures can be used by SIGMA/W to simulate in situ effective stresses.


Temperature variation throughout the domain may cause density dependent fluid flow, while water movement carries heat and thus, redistributes the temperatures in the domain. Coupling SEEP/W and TEMP/W allows for the simulation of density dependent fluid flow (or free convection) and forced convection heat transfer.


Water velocity is often an important component of contaminant transport, while concentration variations may cause density dependent fluid flow. Both advection-dispersive contaminant transport and density dependent fluid flow can be modeled by coupling SEEP/W and CTRAN/W.