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Aquifer response to stream-stage and recharge variations. II. Convolution method and applications

Journal of Hydrology

By:
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DOI: 10.1016/S0022-1694(00)00176-1

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Abstract

In this second of two papers, analytical step-response functions, developed in the companion paper for several cases of transient hydraulic interaction between a fully penetrating stream and a confined, leaky, or water-table aquifer, are used in the convolution integral to calculate aquifer heads, streambank seepage rates, and bank storage that occur in response to streamstage fluctuations and basinwide recharge or evapotranspiration. Two computer programs developed on the basis of these step-response functions and the convolution integral are applied to the analysis of hydraulic interaction of two alluvial stream-aquifer systems in the northeastern and central United States. These applications demonstrate the utility of the analytical functions and computer programs for estimating aquifer and streambank hydraulic properties, recharge rates, streambank seepage rates, and bank storage. Analysis of the water-table aquifer adjacent to the Blackstone River in Massachusetts suggests that the very shallow depth of water table and associated thin unsaturated zone at the site cause the aquifer to behave like a confined aquifer (negligible specific yield). This finding is consistent with previous studies that have shown that the effective specific yield of an unconfined aquifer approaches zero when the capillary fringe, where sediment pores are saturated by tension, extends to land surface. Under this condition, the aquifer's response is determined by elastic storage only. Estimates of horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivity, specific yield, specific storage, and recharge for a water-table aquifer adjacent to the Cedar River in eastern Iowa, determined by the use of analytical methods, are in close agreement with those estimated by use of a more complex, multilayer numerical model of the aquifer. Streambank leakance of the semipervious streambank materials also was estimated for the site. The streambank-leakance parameter may be considered to be a general (or lumped) parameter that accounts not only for the resistance of flow at the river-aquifer boundary, but also for the effects of partial penetration of the river and other near-stream flow phenomena not included in the theoretical development of the step-response functions.Analytical step-response functions, developed for several cases of transient hydraulic interaction between a fully penetrating stream and a confined, leaky, or water-table aquifer, are used in the convolution integral to calculate aquifer heads, streambank seepage rates, and bank storage that occur in response to stream-stage fluctuations and basinwide recharge or evapotranspiration. Two computer programs developed on the basis of these step-response functions and the convolution integral are applied to the analysis of hydraulic interaction of two alluvial stream-aquifer systems. These applications demonstrate the utility of the analytical functions and computer programs for estimating aquifer and streambank seepage rates and bank storage.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Aquifer response to stream-stage and recharge variations. II. Convolution method and applications
Series title:
Journal of Hydrology
DOI:
10.1016/S0022-1694(00)00176-1
Volume
230
Issue:
3-4
Year Published:
2000
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier Science B.V.
Publisher location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Hydrology
First page:
211
Last page:
229