Optimization techniques using MODFLOW-GWM

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An important application of optimization codes such as MODFLOW-GWM is to maximize water supply from unconfined aquifers subject to constraints involving surface-water depletion and drawdown. In optimizing pumping for a fish hatchery in a bedrock aquifer system overlain by glacial deposits in eastern Wisconsin, various features of the GWM-2000 code were used to overcome difficulties associated with: 1) Non-linear response matrices caused by unconfined conditions and head-dependent boundaries; 2) Efficient selection of candidate well and drawdown constraint locations; and 3) Optimizing against water-level constraints inside pumping wells. Features of GWM-2000 were harnessed to test the effects of systematically varying the decision variables and constraints on the optimized solution for managing withdrawals. An important lesson of the procedure, similar to lessons learned in model calibration, is that the optimized outcome is non-unique, and depends on a range of choices open to the user. The modeler must balance the complexity of the numerical flow model used to represent the groundwater-flow system against the range of options (decision variables, objective functions, constraints) available for optimizing the model.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Optimization techniques using MODFLOW-GWM
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Colorado School of Mines
Contributing office(s) Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description 5 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title MODFLOW and More 2015: Modeling a complex world
First page 354
Last page 358