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Accounting for intracell flow in models with emphasis on water table recharge and stream-aquifer interaction: 1. Problems and concepts

Water Resources Research

By:
, , and
https://doi.org/10.1029/WR025i004p00669

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Abstract

Intracell flow is important in modeling cells that contain both sources and sinks. Special attention is needed if recharge through the water table is a source. One method of modeling multiple sources and sinks is to determine the net recharge per cell. For example, for a model cell containing both a sink and recharge through the water table, the amount of recharge should be reduced by the ratio of the area of influence of the sink within the cell to the area of the cell. The reduction is the intercepted portion of the recharge. In a multilayer model this amount is further reduced by a proportion factor, which is a function of the depth of the flow lines from the water table boundary to the internal sink. A gaining section of a stream is a typical sink. The aquifer contribution to a gaining stream can be conceptualized as having two parts; the first part is the intercepted lateral flow from the water table and the second is the flow across the streambed due to differences in head between the water level in the stream and the aquifer below. The amount intercepted is a function of the geometry of the cell, but the amount due to difference in head across the stream bed is largely independent of cell geometry. A discharging well can intercept recharge through the water table within a model cell. The net recharge to the cell would be reduced in proportion to the area of influence of the well within the cell. The area of influence generally changes with time. Thus the amount of intercepted recharge and net recharge may not be constant with time. During periods when the well is not discharging there will be no intercepted recharge even though the area of influence from previous pumping may still exist. The reduction of net recharge per cell due to internal interception of flow will result in a model-calculated mass balance less than the prototype. Additionally the “effective transmissivity” along the intercell flow paths may be altered when flow paths are occupied by intercepted recharge.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Accounting for intracell flow in models with emphasis on water table recharge and stream-aquifer interaction: 1. Problems and concepts
Series title:
Water Resources Research
DOI:
10.1029/WR025i004p00669
Volume:
25
Issue:
4
Year Published:
1989
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Description:
8 p.
First page:
669
Last page:
676