Computer program for simulation of variable recharge with the U. S. Geological Survey modular finite-difference ground-water flow model (MODFLOW)

Open-File Report 2000-173




The Variable-Recharge Package is a computerized method designed for use with the U.S. Geological Survey three-dimensional finitedifference ground-water flow model (MODFLOW-88) to simulate areal recharge to an aquifer. It is suitable for simulations of aquifers in which the relation between ground-water levels and land surface can affect the amount and distribution of recharge. The method is based on the premise that recharge to an aquifer cannot occur where the water level is at or above land surface. Consequently, recharge will vary spatially in simulations in which the Variable- Recharge Package is applied, if the water levels are sufficiently high. The input data required by the program for each model cell that can potentially receive recharge includes the average land-surface elevation and a quantity termed ?water available for recharge,? which is equal to precipitation minus evapotranspiration. The Variable-Recharge Package also can be used to simulate recharge to a valley-fill aquifer in which the valley fill and the adjoining uplands are explicitly simulated. Valley-fill aquifers, which are the most common type of aquifer in the glaciated northeastern United States, receive much of their recharge from upland sources as channeled and(or) unchanneled surface runoff and as lateral ground-water flow. Surface runoff in the uplands is generated in the model when the applied water available for recharge is rejected because simulated water levels are at or above land surface. The surface runoff can be distributed to other parts of the model by (1) applying the amount of the surface runoff that flows to upland streams (channeled runoff) to explicitly simulated streams that flow onto the valley floor, and(or) (2) applying the amount that flows downslope toward the valley- fill aquifer (unchanneled runoff) to specified model cells, typically those near the valley wall. An example model of an idealized valley- fill aquifer is presented to demonstrate application of the method and the type of information that can be derived from its use. Documentation of the Variable-Recharge Package is provided in the appendixes and includes listings of model code and of program variables. Comment statements in the program listings provide a narrative of the code. Input-data instructions and printed model output for the package are included.

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Computer program for simulation of variable recharge with the U. S. Geological Survey modular finite-difference ground-water flow model (MODFLOW)
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Open-File Report
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vi, 75 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.