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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-617
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-617
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 24 Jan 2019

Research article | 24 Jan 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Decomposition technique for contributions to groundwater heads from inside and outside of an arbitrary boundary: Application to Guantao County, North China Plain

Ning Li1, Wolfgang Kinzelbach1, Haitao Li2, Wenpeng Li2, and Fei Chen3 Ning Li et al.
  • 1Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETHZ, Zurich, 8093, Switzerland
  • 2China Institute of Geo-Environment Monitoring, Beijing, 100081, China
  • 3General Institute of Water Resources and Hydro-power Planning and Design, Beijing, 100081, China

Abstract. To assess the efficiency of groundwater management of an administrative unit, we propose to decompose the groundwater head changes within an administrative unit into inside and outside contributions by using numerical models. Guantao County of Hebei Province, China, serves as an example to demonstrate the decomposition technique. The groundwater flow model of Guantao was constructed using observed heads as prescribed head boundary conditions. The model was coupled with Hydrus 1D, to calculate the groundwater recharge distribution in time reflecting the delay and damping effects of the soil column on seepage at the surface. The model was calibrated by adjusting parameters such as hydraulic conductivities, recharge infiltration ratios and specific yields. The calibrated parameters are then used in a large model with a boundary at large distance from Guantao administrative boundary to determine the groundwater head changes due to inside drivers. The differences of the two models on the Guantao boundary serve as the specified head values on the boundary for a small scale model, which is used to calculate the groundwater head imposed by outside drivers. To eliminate inconsistencies caused by the different types of boundary conditions of large and small models, the groundwater head changes due to inside drivers must be updated. The results indicate that the groundwater head changes in the centre and south of Guantao County are influenced equally by both inside and outside contributions, while in the north outside contributions have the stronger impact. The sensitivity analysis shows that the groundwater head changes and their decomposition are much more sensitive to infiltration ratios than to the aquifer parameters. The parameters within Guantao have a certain influence on the net groundwater head changes while the parameters outside of Guantao have only an influence on the decomposition.

Ning Li et al.
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Short summary
Groundwater heads within an administrative unit are not only influenced by inside drivers but also by outside drivers. To assess the efficiency of groundwater management of the administrative unit, we propose the decomposition of groundwater heads within the unit into inside and outside contributions by using three numerical groundwater models. The method is successfully demonstrated using Guantao County, China.
Groundwater heads within an administrative unit are not only influenced by inside drivers but...
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