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Impact of model complexity and multi-scale data integration on the estimation of hydrogeological parameters in a dual-porosity aquifer

Tamayo-Mas, Elena; Bianchi, Marco; Mansour, Majdi. 2018 Impact of model complexity and multi-scale data integration on the estimation of hydrogeological parameters in a dual-porosity aquifer. Hydrogeology Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10040-018-1745-y

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Abstract/Summary

This study investigates the impact of model complexity and multi-scale prior hydrogeological data on the interpretation of pumping test data in a dual-porosity aquifer (the Chalk aquifer in England, UK). In order to characterize the hydrogeological properties, different approaches ranging from a traditional analytical solution (Theis approach) to more sophisticated numerical models with automatically calibrated input parameters are applied. Comparisons of results from the different approaches show that neither traditional analytical solutions nor a numerical model assuming a homogenous and isotropic aquifer can adequately explain the observed drawdowns. A better reproduction of the observed drawdowns in all seven monitoring locations is instead achieved when medium and local-scale prior information about the vertical hydraulic conductivity (K) distribution is used to constrain the model calibration process. In particular, the integration of medium-scale vertical K variations based on flowmeter measurements lead to an improvement in the goodness-of-fit of the simulated drawdowns of about 30%. Further improvements (up to 70%) were observed when a simple upscaling approach was used to integrate small-scale K data to constrain the automatic calibration process of the numerical model. Although the analysis focuses on a specific case study, these results provide insights about the representativeness of the estimates of hydrogeological properties based on different interpretations of pumping test data, and promote the integration of multi-scale data for the characterization of heterogeneous aquifers in complex hydrogeological settings.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1007/s10040-018-1745-y
ISSN: 1431-2174
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater
Date made live: 06 Mar 2018 13:41 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/519478

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