11R59. Computational Methods in Environmental Fluid Mechanics. - O Kolditz (Center for Appl Geosci, Univ of Tubingen, Sigwartstr 10, Tubingen, D-72076, Germany). Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 2002. 378 pp. ISBN 3-540-42895-X. $54.95.
Reviewed by LA Glenn (Computational Phys Group, Geophys Div, MS L-200, LLNL, 7000 East Ave, Livermore CA 94550-9900).
This is intended to be a graduate-level textbook for students in civil and environmental engineering. It is organized into four parts: Continuum Mechanics, Numerical Methods, Software Engineering, and Selected Topics.
The first part considers the general balance equations of mass, momentum, and energy; averaging concepts for turbulence; a discussion of porous media; and the mathematical and physical classification of the partial differential equations (PDEs) governing fluid flow and related transport processes. The second part deals with basic concepts for solving PDEs; concepts of approximation theory; and a description of finite difference, finite element, and finite volume methods, with application to diffusion, advection, and transport processes. This material spans roughly half of the book and, while reasonably well organized, really covers no new ground that is not readily available in numerous other standard texts on fluid mechanics. In fact, the roughly 100 pages focusing on numerical methods affords only quite skimpy treatment of many important topics that would be required before a student could reasonably be expected to apply these methods to actual problems.
In Parts 3 and 4, by contrast, this book breaks new ground. The author believes that object-oriented programing methods are important tools for modeling complex systems, and Part 3 is an introduction to these methods and their application to coupled processes in subsurface systems (geomechanics, single and multiphase flows, heat and mass transport, and chemical and biological processes). Unfortunately, Part 3 covers only 40 pages so that, here again, one gets only the most meager treatment of the subject. This reviewer found himself wishing that Parts 1 and 2 had been dispensed with and this part extended accordingly.
The last part of the book is divided into four chapters, each of which is a fairly self-contained segment dealing with problems of particular interest to the author: nonlinear flow in fractured media, heat transport in fractured porous media, density dependent flow in porous media, and multiphase flow in deformable porous media. On each topic, there is a nice introduction to its relevance in environmental fluid mechanics, a description of the governing equations and approximations, an outline of the numerical scheme employed for solution, comparison of solution results with experimental data, and a bibliography giving relevant papers and background material.
Computational Methods in Environmental Fluid Mechanics is well illustrated throughout, and the text and mathematical derivations are clear and relatively easy to follow. One complaint, a minor one to be sure, is that the index is arranged rather poorly so that some topics are hard to locate. Although it may serve as a useful reference, the use of this book as a graduate text in computational fluid mechanics is problematical since many important practical issues arising in the application of the numerical methods are either ignored or given only very skimpy treatment.