Parameter estimation is a powerful way to calibrate models. While head data alone are often insufficient to estimate unique parameters due to model nonuniqueness, flow-and-heat-transport modeling can constrain estimation and allow simultaneous estimation of boundary fluxes and hydraulic conductivity. In this work, synthetic and field models that did not converge when head data were used did converge when head and temperature were used. Furthermore, frequency domain analyses of head and temperature data allowed selection of appropriate modeling timescales. Inflows in the Wilton, Wisconsin, wetlands could be estimated over periods such as a growing season and over periods of a few days when heads were nearly steady and groundwater temperature varied during the day. While this methodology is computationally more demanding than traditional head calibration, the results gained are unobtainable using the traditional approach. These results suggest that temperature can efficiently supplement head data in systems where accurate flux calibration targets are unavailable.
Additional publication details
Using groundwater temperature data to constrain parameter estimation in a groundwater flow model of a wetland system