A new ghost-node method for linking different models and initial investigations of heterogeneity and nonmatching grids

Advances in Water Resources
By: , and 



A flexible, robust method for linking parent (regional-scale) and child (local-scale) grids of locally refined models that use different numerical methods is developed based on a new, iterative ghost-node method. Tests are presented for two-dimensional and three-dimensional pumped systems that are homogeneous or that have simple heterogeneity. The parent and child grids are simulated using the block-centered finite-difference MODFLOW and control-volume finite-element FEHM models, respectively. The models are solved iteratively through head-dependent (child model) and specified-flow (parent model) boundary conditions. Boundary conditions for models with nonmatching grids or zones of different hydraulic conductivity are derived and tested against heads and flows from analytical or globally-refined models. Results indicate that for homogeneous two- and three-dimensional models with matched grids (integer number of child cells per parent cell), the new method is nearly as accurate as the coupling of two MODFLOW models using the shared-node method and, surprisingly, errors are slightly lower for nonmatching grids (noninteger number of child cells per parent cell). For heterogeneous three-dimensional systems, this paper compares two methods for each of the two sets of boundary conditions: external heads at head-dependent boundary conditions for the child model are calculated using bilinear interpolation or a Darcy-weighted interpolation; specified-flow boundary conditions for the parent model are calculated using model-grid or hydrogeologic-unit hydraulic conductivities. Results suggest that significantly more accurate heads and flows are produced when both Darcy-weighted interpolation and hydrogeologic-unit hydraulic conductivities are used, while the other methods produce larger errors at the boundary between the regional and local models. The tests suggest that, if posed correctly, the ghost-node method performs well. Additional testing is needed for highly heterogeneous systems. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A new ghost-node method for linking different models and initial investigations of heterogeneity and nonmatching grids
Series title Advances in Water Resources
DOI 10.1016/j.advwatres.2007.01.004
Volume 30
Issue 8
Year Published 2007
Language English
Contributing office(s) California Water Science Center
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Advances in Water Resources
First page 1722
Last page 1736
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