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Estimating aquifer properties using groundwater hydrograph modelling

Shapoori, V., Peterson, T. J., Western, A. W., Costelloe, J. F.
Hydrological processes 2015 v.29 no.26 pp. 5424-5437
aquifers, groundwater, hydrograph, irrigation, models, monitoring, prediction, time series analysis, Australia
Estimation of aquifer hydraulic properties is essential for predicting the response of an aquifer to extractions and hence estimating the availability of the groundwater resources. Aquifer tests are commonly used for the estimation of aquifer properties; however, they can be expensive and often only characterize the short‐term response of the aquifer. This paper presents a time series modelling approach to estimating aquifer hydraulic properties. It is applied to 42 bores monitoring an unconfined aquifer within an irrigation region of south‐eastern Australia, and the resulting probabilistic estimate of hydraulic properties are evaluated against pumping test estimates. It is demonstrated that the time series modelling can provide a reliable estimate of the hydraulic properties that are typical of a very long‐term pumping test. Furthermore, the application of the time series modelling to 42 bores provided novel insights into the aquifer heterogeneity. We encourage others to further test the approach and the source code is available from:‐peterson‐tim‐j‐groundwater‐statistics‐toolbox.