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A lumped conceptual model to simulate groundwater level time-series

Mackay, J.D., Jackson, C.R., Wang, L.
Environmental modelling & software 2014 v.61 pp. 229-245
aquifers, chalk, computer software, hydrograph, hydrologic models, sandstone, simulation models, time series analysis, water table, United Kingdom
Lumped, conceptual groundwater models can be used to simulate groundwater level time-series quickly and efficiently without the need for comprehensive modelling expertise. A new model of this type, AquiMod, is presented for simulating groundwater level time-series in unconfined aquifers. Its modular design enables users to implement different model structures to gain understanding about controls on aquifer storage and discharge. Five model structures are evaluated for four contrasting aquifers in the United Kingdom. The ability of different model structures and parameterisations to replicate the observed hydrographs is examined. AquiMod simulates the quasi-sinusoidal hydrographs of the relatively uniform Chalk and Sandstone aquifers most efficiently. It is least efficient at capturing the flashy hydrograph of a heterogeneous, fractured Limestone aquifer. The majority of model parameters demonstrate sensitivity and can be related to available field data. The model structure experiments demonstrate the need to represent vertical aquifer heterogeneity to capture the storage–discharge dynamics efficiently.