The numerical solution of the behaviour of discrete time steps in digital computer analysis of square aquifers containing pumped wells is examined by using the finite element method with a 4 node linear quadrilateral isoparametric surface element. A wide range of time steps are used in the computation. The calculations show that discrete time steps can cause errors and oscillations in the calculations particularly when wells start and stop pumping. Comparison with known results obtained by theoretical and finite difference procedures has been considered. The main objective of this paper is to demonstrate comparison of the finite element and finite difference simulation results over a regular linear 4 node quadrilateral mesh suitable to represent the two numerical schemes with a marked similarity. The dimensionless time drawdown results of the finite element method agreed well with the finite difference and analytical results for small time increment. However, for large time increments, there are from slight to significant oscillations in the results and notable discrepancies are observed in the solutions of the two numerical methods.

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