This study investigated the use of a two-dimensional profile-oriented water-quality model for the simulation of head and water-quality changes through the saturated thickness of an aquifer. The profile model is able to simulate confined or unconfined aquifers with nonhomogeneous anisotropic hydraulic conductivity, nonhomogeneous specific storage and porosity, and nonuniform saturated thickness. An aquifer may be simulated under either steady or nonsteady flow conditions provided that the ground-water flow path along which the longitudinal axis of the model is oriented does not move in the aquifer during the simulation time period. The profile model parameters are more difficult to quantify than are the corresponding parameters for an areal-oriented water-fluality model. However, the sensitivity of the profile model to the parameters may be such that the normal error of parameter estimation will not preclude obtaining acceptable model results. Although the profile model has the advantage of being able to simulate vertical flow and water-quality changes in a single- or multiple-aquifer system, the types of problems to which it can be applied is limited by the requirements that (1) the ground-water flow path remain oriented along the longitudinal axis of the model and (2) any subsequent hydrologic factors to be evaluated using the model must be located along the land-surface trace of the model. Simulation of hypothetical ground-water management practices indicates that the profile model is applicable to problem-oriented studies and can provide quantitative results applicable to a variety of management practices. In particular, simulations of the movement and dissolved-solids concentration of a zone of degraded ground-water quality near Barstow, Calif., indicate that halting subsurface disposal of treated sewage effluent in conjunction with pumping a line of fully penetrating wells would be an effective means of controlling the movement of degraded ground water.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Application of digital profile modeling techniques to ground-water solute transport at Barstow, California
Water Supply Paper
Dept. of the Interior, Geological Survey : for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
iv, 28 p. :ill., maps (1 fold. in pocket) ;24 cm. --