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Recharge and groundwater models: An overview

Hydrogeology Journal

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DOI: 10.1007/s10040-001-0173-5

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Abstract

Recharge is a fundamental component of groundwater systems, and in groundwater-modeling exercises recharge is either measured and specified or estimated during model calibration. The most appropriate way to represent recharge in a groundwater model depends upon both physical factors and study objectives. Where the water table is close to the land surface, as in humid climates or regions with low topographic relief, a constant-head boundary condition is used. Conversely, where the water table is relatively deep, as in drier climates or regions with high relief, a specified-flux boundary condition is used. In most modeling applications, mixed-type conditions are more effective, or a combination of the different types can be used. The relative distribution of recharge can be estimated from water-level data only, but flux observations must be incorporated in order to estimate rates of recharge. Flux measurements are based on either Darcian velocities (e.g., stream base-flow) or seepage velocities (e.g., groundwater age). In order to estimate the effective porosity independently, both types of flux measurements must be available. Recharge is often estimated more efficiently when automated inverse techniques are used. Other important applications are the delineation of areas contributing recharge to wells and the estimation of paleorecharge rates using carbon-14.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Recharge and groundwater models: An overview
Series title:
Hydrogeology Journal
DOI:
10.1007/s10040-001-0173-5
Volume
10
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
110
Last page:
120
Number of Pages:
11