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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hessd-12-4191-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
24 Apr 2015
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Updating hydraulic properties and layer thicknesses in hydrogeological models using groundwater model calibration results
A. Lourens1, M. F. P. Bierkens1,2, and F. C. van Geer1,3 1Department of Physical Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS Utrecht, the Netherlands
2Unit Subsurface and Groundwater Systems, Deltares, Princetonlaan 6, 3584 CB Utrecht, the Netherlands
3TNO Geological Survey of the Netherlands, Princetonlaan 6, 3584 CB Utrecht, the Netherlands
Abstract. Usually, subsoil data for groundwater models are generated from borehole data, using upscaling techniques. Since the assumed hydraulic properties for litho-classes in boreholes are uncertain, and upscaling may add inaccuracies, the groundwater model has to be calibrated. In this paper, a method is presented that uses a calibrated groundwater model to improve the quality of a hydrogeological model (layer thickness and hydraulic properties) as obtained from borehole data. To achieve this, all borehole data are defined by random variables and related to aquifer and aquitard properties at the same support as the groundwater model, using complete probability density functions. Subsequently, the calibrated parameter values of the groundwater model are assumed to be the truth and are used to find the most likely combination of layer thicknesses and hydraulic conductivities for the lithological layers making up the aquifer or aquitard. The presented example is an application of the proposed method to aquitards. Nevertheless, the method can be applied to aquifers as well. The analysis of the results gives rise to the discussion about the correctness of the hydrogeological interpretation of the borehole data as well as the correctness of the calibration results of the groundwater flow model. In order to make the problem tractable, computationally feasible, and avoid assumptions about the distribution form, piecewise linear probability density functions are used, instead of parametrized functions.

Citation: Lourens, A., Bierkens, M. F. P., and van Geer, F. C.: Updating hydraulic properties and layer thicknesses in hydrogeological models using groundwater model calibration results, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 12, 4191-4231, https://doi.org/10.5194/hessd-12-4191-2015, 2015.
A. Lourens et al.
A. Lourens et al.

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Short summary
We present a method to find the most likely properties (layer thickness and conductivity) for each litho-class of the constituting layers of an aquitard, using a readily calibrated groundwater model. The prior litho-class properties are uncertain, and based on borehole data. The groundwater model parameters are assumed to be the truth. The combination of prior data and calibration result yields the most likely litho-class properties. The method is applicable to aquifers as well.
We present a method to find the most likely properties (layer thickness and conductivity) for...
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