A geostatistically based inverse model for three-dimensional variably saturated flow

Debra L. Hughson, T. C. Jim Yeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We present a geostatistically based inverse model for characterizing heterogeneity in parameters of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity for threedimensional flow. Pressure and moisture content are related to perturbations in hydraulic parameters through cross-covariances, which are calculated to firstorder. Sensitivities needed for covariance calculations are derived using the adjoint state sensitivity method. Approximations of the conditional mean parameter fields are then obtained from the cokriging estimator. Correlation between parameters and pressure - moisture content perturbations is seen to be strongly dependent on mean pressure or moisture content. High correlation between parameters and pressure data was obtained under saturated or near saturated flow conditions, providing accurate estimation of saturated hydraulic conductivity, while moisture content measurements provided accurate estimation of the pore size distribution parameter under unsaturated flow conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-298
Number of pages14
JournalStochastic Hydrology and Hydraulics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Ocean Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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