An analytical framework for quantifying aquifer response time scales associated with transient boundary conditions

Jazaei, Farhad, Simpson, Matthew, & Clement, Prabhakar (2014) An analytical framework for quantifying aquifer response time scales associated with transient boundary conditions. Journal of Hydrology, 519(Part B), pp. 1642-1648.

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A major challenge in studying coupled groundwater and surface-water interactions arises from the considerable difference in the response time scales of groundwater and surface-water systems affected by external forcings. Although coupled models representing the interaction of groundwater and surface-water systems have been studied for over a century, most have focused on groundwater quantity or quality issues rather than response time. In this study, we present an analytical framework, based on the concept of mean action time (MAT), to estimate the time scale required for groundwater systems to respond to changes in surface-water conditions. MAT can be used to estimate the transient response time scale by analyzing the governing mathematical model. This framework does not require any form of transient solution (either numerical or analytical) to the governing equation, yet it provides a closed form mathematical relationship for the response time as a function of the aquifer geometry, boundary conditions, and flow parameters. Our analysis indicates that aquifer systems have three fundamental time scales:

(i) a time scale that depends on the intrinsic properties of the aquifer;

(ii) a time scale that depends on the intrinsic properties of the boundary condition, and;

(iii) a time scale that depends on the properties of the entire system.

We discuss two practical scenarios where MAT estimates provide useful insights and we test the MAT predictions using new laboratory-scale experimental data sets.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
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2 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 76121
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: groundwater surface-water interaction, response time, steady state
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.09.018
ISSN: 1879-2707
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > APPLIED MATHEMATICS (010200) > Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (010207)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier
Deposited On: 10 Sep 2014 23:12
Last Modified: 16 May 2015 01:42

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