Examining geological controls on Baseflow Index (BFI) using regression analysis : an illustration from the Thames Basin, UK

Bloomfield, J.P. ORCID:; Allen, D.J.; Griffiths, K.J.. 2009 Examining geological controls on Baseflow Index (BFI) using regression analysis : an illustration from the Thames Basin, UK. Journal of Hydrology, 373 (1-2). 164-176.

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Linear regression methods can be used to quantify geological controls on baseflow index (BFI). This is illustrated using an example from the Thames Basin, UK. Two approaches have been adopted. The areal extents of geological classes based on lithostratigraphic and hydrogeological classification schemes have been correlated with BFI for 44 ‘natural’ catchments from the Thames Basin. When regression models are built using lithostratigraphic classes that include a constant term then the model is shown to have some physical meaning and the relative influence of the different geological classes on BFI can be quantified. For example, the regression constants for two such models, 0.64 and 0.69, are consistent with the mean observed BFI (0.65) for the Thames Basin, and the signs and relative magnitudes of the regression coefficients for each of the lithostratigraphic classes are consistent with the hydrogeology of the basin. In addition, regression coefficients for the lithostratigraphic classes scale linearly with estimates of log10 hydraulic conductivity for each lithological class. When a regression is built using a hydrogeological classification scheme with no constant term, the model does not have any physical meaning, but it has a relatively high adjusted R2 value and because of the continuous coverage of the hydrogeological classification scheme, the model can be used for predictive purposes. A model calibrated on the 44 ‘natural’ catchments and using four hydrogeological classes (low permeability surficial deposits, consolidated aquitards, fractured aquifers and intergranular aquifers) is shown to perform as well as a model based on a hydrology of soil types (BFIHOST) scheme in predicting BFI in the Thames Basin. Validation of this model using 110 other ‘variably impacted’ catchments in the Basin shows that there is a correlation between modelled and observed BFI. Where the observed BFI is significantly higher than modelled BFI the deviations can be explained by an exogenous factor, catchment urban area. It is inferred that this is may be due influences from sewage discharge, mains leakage, and leakage from septic tanks.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2009 > Groundwater science
ISSN: 0022-1694
Additional Keywords: baseflow; Baseflow Index; BFI; BFIHOST; hydraulic conductivity; Thames Basin; GroundwaterBGS; Groundwater; Groundwater resources; Surface water interaction; Catchment processes
NORA Subject Terms: Hydrology
Earth Sciences
Related URLs:
Date made live: 19 Jun 2009 13:49 +0 (UTC)

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