A method is presented for incorporating the hydraulic effects of vertical fracture zones into two-dimensional cell-based continuum models of ground water flow and particle tracking. High hydraulic conductivity features are used in the model to represent fracture zones. For fracture zones that are not coincident with model rows or columns, an adjustment is required for the hydraulic conductivity value entered into the model cells to compensate for the longer flowpath through the model grid. A similar adjustment is also required for simulated travel times through model cells. A travel time error of less than 8% can occur for particles moving through fractures with certain orientations. The fracture zone continuum model uses stochastically generated fracture zone networks and Monte Carlo analysis to quantify uncertainties with simulated advective travel times. An approach is also presented for converting an equivalent continuum model into a fracture zone continuum model by establishing the contribution of matrix block transmissivity to the bulk transmissivity of the aquifer. The methods are used for a case study in west-central Florida to quantify advective travel times from a potential wetland rehydration site to a municipal supply wellfield. Uncertainties in advective travel times are assumed to result from the presence of vertical fracture zones, commonly observed on aerial photographs as photolineaments.
Additional publication details
Stochastic Ground Water Flow Simulation with a Fracture Zone Continuum Model