Articles | Volume 368
07 May 2015
 | 07 May 2015

Stochastic analysis of the hydraulic conductivity estimated for a heterogeneous aquifer via numerical modelling

C. Lu, Y. Zhang, L. Shu, X. Chen, S. Chen, S. Li, G. Wang, and J. Li

Keywords: Heterogeneity, effective hydraulic conductivity, random field, Monte Carlo, MODFLOW

Abstract. The paper aims to evaluate the impacts of the average hydraulic conductivity of the heterogeneous aquifer on the estimated hydraulic conductivity using the observations from pumping tests. The results of aquifer tests conducted at a karst aquifer are first introduced. A MODFLOW groundwater flow model was developed to perform numerical pumping tests, and the heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity (K) field was generated using the Monte Carlo method. The K was estimated by the Theis solution for an unconfined aquifer. The effective hydraulic conductivity (Ke) was calculated to represent the hydraulic conductivity of a heterogeneous aquifer. The results of numerical simulations demonstrate that Ke increase with the mean of hydraulic conductivity (EK), and decrease with the coefficient of variation of the hydraulic conductivity (Cv). The impact of spatial variability of K on the estimated Ke at two observation wells with smaller EK is less significant compared to the cases with larger EK.