The salinity problems created in the Burrton area as a result of poor oil-field brine disposal practices of the past continue to be a major concern to the area depending on the Equus Beds aquifer for water, including the City of Wichita, Kansas. In this paper, an attempt is made to predict where and how fast the brine plume will move in this area, and what the average chloride concentrations in different parts of the aquifer are. In order to make such predictions, it was necessary to get a calibrated model of the groundwater-flow velocity field. Multiple regression analysis is used for parameter estimation of the steady-state groundwater-flow equation applied in the most critical area of the Equus Beds aquifer. Results of such an analysis produced a correlation coefficient of 0.992 between calculated and observed values of hydraulic head. A chloride transport modeling effort is then carried out despite some serious data deficiencies, the significance of which are evaluated through sensitivity analysis. Thus, starting with the quasi steady-state conditions of the early 1940's, it was possible to match the present chloride distribution satisfactorily. Chloride concentration predictions made for the year 2000 indicate that the quality of the Wichita well-field waters will not generally deteriorate from their present condition by that time. ?? 1984.
Additional publication details
Groundwater-flow parameter estimation and quality modeling of the Equus Beds aquifer in Kansas, U.S.A.