Hydraulic conductivity fields: Gaussian or not?

Meerschaert, Mark M., Dogan, Mine, Van Dam, Remke L., Hyndman, David W., & Benson, David A. (2013) Hydraulic conductivity fields: Gaussian or not? Water Resources Research, 49(8), pp. 4730-4737.

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Hydraulic conductivity (K) fields are used to parameterize groundwater flow and transport models. Numerical simulations require a detailed representation of the K field, synthesized to interpolate between available data. Several recent studies introduced high-resolution K data (HRK) at the Macro Dispersion Experiment (MADE) site, and used ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to delineate the main structural features of the aquifer. This paper describes a statistical analysis of these data, and the implications for K field modeling in alluvial aquifers. Two striking observations have emerged from this analysis. The first is that a simple fractional difference filter can have a profound effect on data histograms, organizing non-Gaussian ln K data into a coherent distribution. The second is that using GPR facies allows us to reproduce the significantly non-Gaussian shape seen in real HRK data profiles, using a simulated Gaussian ln K field in each facies. This illuminates a current controversy in the literature, between those who favor Gaussian ln K models, and those who observe non-Gaussian ln K fields. Both camps are correct, but at different scales.

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10 citations in Scopus
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11 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 80126
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1002/wrcr.20376
ISSN: 00431397
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: American Geophysical Union
Deposited On: 15 Jan 2015 03:27
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2015 00:40

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