The evaluation of the accuracy or reasonableness of numerical models of groundwater flow is a complex task, due to the uncertainties in hydrodynamic properties and boundary conditions and the scarcity of good-quality field data. To assess model reliability, different calibration techniques are joined to evaluate the effects of different kinds of boundary conditions on the groundwater flow in a coastal multi-layered aquifer in southern Italy. In particular, both direct and indirect approaches for inverse modeling were joined through the calibration of one of the most uncertain parameters, namely the hydraulic conductivity of the karst deep hydrostratigraphic unit. The methodology proposed here, and applied to a real case study, confirmed that the selection of boundary conditions is among the most critical and difficult aspects of the characterization of a groundwater system for conceptual analysis or numerical simulation. The practical tests conducted in this study show that incorrect specification of boundary conditions prevents an acceptable match between the model response to the hydraulic stresses and the behavior of the natural system. Such effects have a negative impact on the applicability of numerical modeling to simulate groundwater dynamics in complex hydrogeological situations. This is particularly important for management of the aquifer system investigated in this work, which represents the only available freshwater resource of the study area, and is threatened by overexploitation and saltwater intrusion.

Effects of different boundary conditions on the simulation of groundwater flow in a multi-layered coastal aquifer system (Taranto Gulf, southern Italy)

Margiotta, Stefano;Negri, Sergio L.
Ultimo
2017

Abstract

The evaluation of the accuracy or reasonableness of numerical models of groundwater flow is a complex task, due to the uncertainties in hydrodynamic properties and boundary conditions and the scarcity of good-quality field data. To assess model reliability, different calibration techniques are joined to evaluate the effects of different kinds of boundary conditions on the groundwater flow in a coastal multi-layered aquifer in southern Italy. In particular, both direct and indirect approaches for inverse modeling were joined through the calibration of one of the most uncertain parameters, namely the hydraulic conductivity of the karst deep hydrostratigraphic unit. The methodology proposed here, and applied to a real case study, confirmed that the selection of boundary conditions is among the most critical and difficult aspects of the characterization of a groundwater system for conceptual analysis or numerical simulation. The practical tests conducted in this study show that incorrect specification of boundary conditions prevents an acceptable match between the model response to the hydraulic stresses and the behavior of the natural system. Such effects have a negative impact on the applicability of numerical modeling to simulate groundwater dynamics in complex hydrogeological situations. This is particularly important for management of the aquifer system investigated in this work, which represents the only available freshwater resource of the study area, and is threatened by overexploitation and saltwater intrusion.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/417879
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