Temporal sampling and role of flux measurements for subsurface heterogeneous characterization in groundwater basins using hydraulic tomography

Fei Liu, Tian Chyi Jim Yeh, Xianfang Song, Yu Li Wang, Jet Chau Wen, Yonghong Hao, Wenke Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Accurate characterization of heterogeneity in groundwater basins is crucial to the sustainable management of groundwater resources. This study explores the temporal sampling issues and the role of flux measurements in the characterization of heterogeneity in groundwater basins using numerical experiments. The experiments involve a digital basin imitating the groundwater basin of the North China Plain (NCP), where the groundwater exploitation reduction program is ongoing. Using the experiments, we champion that the reduction program could collect groundwater level information induced by operational variations of existing pumping wells at different locations in the basin. Such a dataset could serve as a basin-scale hydraulic tomography (HT) to characterize the basin-scale heterogeneity cost-effectively. Both steady-state and transient-state inversion experiments demonstrate the advantage of HT surveys in characterizing basin-scale heterogeneity over conventional pumping tests at fixed well locations. Additionally, head data at the early, intermediate, and late time from well hydrographs should be selected for the HT analysis to maximize HT's power and save computational costs. When accurate geological zones are incorporated in prior information, flux measurements significantly improve parameter estimates based on conventional pumping tests. However, their effects are less noticeable for long-term HT surveys in such basin-scale aquifers without fissures or fractures. This basin-scale tomographic survey example serves a guide for field data collection and optimization of the analysis of future basin-scale HT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14299
JournalHydrological Processes
Volume35
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Keywords

  • North China plain
  • basin-scale
  • flux measurements
  • groundwater management
  • hydraulic tomography
  • temporal sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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