We use land-subsidence observations from repeatedly surveyed benchmarks and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) in Antelope Valley, California, to estimate spatially varying compaction time constants, ??, and inelastic specific skeletal storage coefficients, Skv*, in a previously calibrated regional groundwater flow and subsidence model. The observed subsidence patterns reflect both the spatial distribution of head declines and the spatially variable inelastic skeletal storage coefficient. Using the nonlinear parameter estimation program UCODE we estimate compaction time constants between 3.8 and 285 years. The Skv* values are estimated by linear estimation and range from 0 to almost 0.09. We find that subsidence observations over long time periods are necessary to constrain estimates of the large compaction time constants in Antelope Valley. The InSAR data used in this study cover only a three-year period, limiting their usefulness in constraining these time constants. This problem will be alleviated as more SAR data become available in the future or where time constants are small. By incorporating the resulting parameter estimates in the previously calibrated regional model of groundwater flow and land subsidence we can significantly improve the agreement between simulated and observed land subsidence both in terms of magnitude and spatial extent. The sum of weighted squared subsidence residuals, a common measure of model fit, was reduced by 73% with respect to the original model. However, the ability of the model to adequately reproduce the subsidence observed over only a few years is impaired by the fact that the simulated hydraulic heads over small time periods are often not representative of the actual aquifer hydraulic heads. Errors in the simulated hydraulic aquifer heads constitute the primary limitation of the approach presented here.
Additional publication details
Inverse modeling of interbed storage parameters using land subsidence observations, Antelope Valley, California