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Modelling boreholes in complex heterogeneous aquifers
- Upton, K.A., Butler, A.P., Jackson, C.R., Mansour, M.
- Environmental modelling & software 2019 v.118 pp. 48-60
- aquifers, chalk, equations, groundwater, hydraulic conductivity, models, water table
- Reliable estimates of the sustainable yield of supply boreholes are critical to ensure that groundwater resources are managed sustainably. Sustainable yields are dependent on the pumped groundwater level in a borehole, how this relates to vertical aquifer heterogeneity, and features of the borehole itself. This paper presents a 3D radial flow model (SPIDERR), based on the Darcy-Forchheimer equation, for simulating the groundwater level response in supply boreholes in unconfined, heterogeneous aquifers. The model provides a tool for investigating the causes of non-linear behaviour in abstraction boreholes, which can have a significant impact on sustainable yields. This is demonstrated by simulating a variable-rate pumping test in a Chalk abstraction borehole. The application suggests the non-linear response to pumping is due to a combination of factors: a reduction in well storage with depth due to changes in the borehole diameter, a reduction in hydraulic conductivity with depth, and non-Darcian flow.