Random domain decomposition for flow in heterogeneous stratified aquifers

A. Guadagnini, L. Guadagnini, D. M. Tartakovsky, C. L. Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


We study two-dimensional flow in a layered heterogeneous medium composed of two materials whose hydraulic properties and spatial distribution are known statistically but are otherwise uncertain. Our analysis relies on the composite media theory, which employs random domain decomposition in the context of groundwater flow moment equations to explicitly account for the separate effects of material and geometric uncertainty on ensemble moments of head and flux. Flow parallel and perpendicular to the layering in a two-material composite layered medium is considered. The hydraulic conductivity of each material is log-normally distributed with a much higher mean in one material than in the other. The hydraulic conductivities of points within different materials are uncorrelated. The location of the internal boundary between the two contrasting materials is random and normally distributed with given mean and variance. We solve the equations for (ensemble) moments of hydraulic head and flux and analyze the impact of unknown geometry of materials on statistical moments of head and flux. We compare the composite media approach to approximations that replace statistically inhomogeneous conductivity fields with pseudo-homogeneous random fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-407
Number of pages14
JournalStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Domain decomposition
  • Layered aquifers
  • Moment equations
  • Random media
  • Stochastic processes
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)


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