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Effects of unsaturated zone on ground-water mounding

Journal of Hydrologic Engineering

By:
, , and
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)1084-0699(1999)4:1(65)

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Abstract

The design of infiltration basins used to dispose of treated wastewater or for aquifer recharge often requires estimation of ground-water mounding beneath the basin. However, the effect that the unsaturated zone has on water-table response to basin infiltration often has been overlooked in this estimation. A comparison was made between two methods used to estimate ground-water mounding-an analytical approach that is limited to the saturated zone and a numerical approach that incorporates both the saturated and the unsaturated zones. Results indicate that the error that is introduced by a method that ignores the effects of the unsaturated zone on ground-water mounding increases as the basin-loading period is shortened; as the depth to the water table increases, with increasing subsurface anisotropy; and with the inclusion of fine-textured strata. Additionally, such a method cannot accommodate the dynamic nature of basin infiltration, the finite transmission time of the infiltration front to the water table, or the interception of the basin floor by the capillary fringe.The design of infiltration basins used to dispose of treated wastewater or for aquifer recharge often requires estimation of ground-water mounding beneath the basin. However, the effect that the unsaturated zone has on water-table response to basin infiltration often has been overlooked in this estimation. A comparison was made between two methods used to estimate ground-water mounding - an analytical approach that is limited to the saturated zone and a numerical approach that incorporates both the saturated and the unsaturated zones. Results indicate that the error that is introduced by a method that ignores the effects of the unsaturated zone on ground-water mounding increases as the basin-loading period is shortened; as the depth to the water table increases, with increasing subsurface anisotropy; and with the inclusion of fine-textured strata. Additionally, such a method cannot accommodate the dynamic nature of basin infiltration, the finite transmission time of the infiltration front to the water, or the interception of the basin floor by the capillary fringe.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Effects of unsaturated zone on ground-water mounding
Series title:
Journal of Hydrologic Engineering
DOI:
10.1061/(ASCE)1084-0699(1999)4:1(65)
Volume
4
Issue:
1
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
ASCE
Publisher location:
Reston, VA, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Hydrologic Engineering
First page:
65
Last page:
69