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Evaluation of confidence intervals for a steady-state leaky aquifer model

Advances in Water Resources

By:
and
DOI: 10.1016/S0309-1708(98)00055-4

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Abstract

The fact that dependent variables of groundwater models are generally nonlinear functions of model parameters is shown to be a potentially significant factor in calculating accurate confidence intervals for both model parameters and functions of the parameters, such as the values of dependent variables calculated by the model. The Lagrangian method of Vecchia and Cooley [Vecchia, A.V. and Cooley, R.L., Water Resources Research, 1987, 23(7), 1237-1250] was used to calculate nonlinear Scheffe-type confidence intervals for the parameters and the simulated heads of a steady-state groundwater flow model covering 450 km2 of a leaky aquifer. The nonlinear confidence intervals are compared to corresponding linear intervals. As suggested by the significant nonlinearity of the regression model, linear confidence intervals are often not accurate. The commonly made assumption that widths of linear confidence intervals always underestimate the actual (nonlinear) widths was not correct. Results show that nonlinear effects can cause the nonlinear intervals to be asymmetric and either larger or smaller than the linear approximations. Prior information on transmissivities helps reduce the size of the confidence intervals, with the most notable effects occurring for the parameters on which there is prior information and for head values in parameter zones for which there is prior information on the parameters.The fact that dependent variables of groundwater models are generally nonlinear functions of model parameters is shown to be a potentially significant factor in calculating accurate confidence intervals for both model parameters and functions of the parameters, such as the values of dependent variables calculated by the model. The Lagrangian method of Vecchia and Cooley was used to calculate nonlinear Scheffe-type confidence intervals for the parameters and the simulated heads of a steady-state groundwater flow model covering 450 km2 of a leaky aquifer. The nonlinear confidence intervals are compared to corresponding linear intervals. As suggested by the significant nonlinearity of the regression model, linear confidence intervals are often not accurate. The commonly made assumption that widths of linear confidence intervals always underestimate the actual (nonlinear) widths was not correct. Results show that nonlinear effects can cause the nonlinear intervals to be asymmetric and either larger or smaller than the linear approximations. Prior information on transmissivities helps reduce the size of the confidence intervals, with the most notable effects occurring for the parameters on which there is prior information and for head values in parameter zones for which there is prior information on the parameters.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Evaluation of confidence intervals for a steady-state leaky aquifer model
Series title:
Advances in Water Resources
DOI:
10.1016/S0309-1708(98)00055-4
Volume
22
Issue:
8
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier Science Ltd
Publisher location:
Exeter, United Kingdom
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Advances in Water Resources
First page:
807
Last page:
817