Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1029/2021WR031289
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) From dynamic groundwater level measurements to regional aquifer parameters – Assessing the power of spectral analysis
Author Houben, T.; Pujades, E.; Kalbacher, T.; Dietrich, P. ORCID logo ; Attinger, S.
Journal Water Resources Research
Year 2022
Department CHS; ENVINF; MET
Volume 58
Issue 5
Page From e2021WR031289
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords spectral analysis of groundwater level fluctuations; proof of concept in numerical environments; homogeneous; stochastic and deterministic numerical model design; regional aquifer parameters; sensitivity analysis with field data; plausibility test with field data
Abstract Large-scale groundwater models are required to estimate groundwater availability and to inform water management strategies on the national scale. However, parameterization of large-scale groundwater models covering areas of major river basins and more is challenging due to the lack of observational data and the mismatch between the scales of modeling and measurements. In this work, we propose to bridge the scale gap and derive regional hydraulic parameters by spectral analysis of groundwater level fluctuations. We hypothesize that specific locations in aquifers can reveal regional parameters of the hydraulic system. We first generate ensembles of synthetic but realistic aquifers which systematically differ in complexity. Applying Liang and Zhang’s (2013) semi-analytical solution for the spectrum of hydraulic head time series, we identify for each ensemble member and at different locations representative aquifer parameters. Next, we extend our study to investigate the use of spectral analysis in more complex numerical models and in real settings. Our analyses indicate that the variance of inferred effective transmissivity and storativity values for stochastic aquifer ensembles is small for observation points which are far away from the Dirichlet boundary. Moreover, the head time series has to cover a period which is roughly ten times as long as the characteristic time of the aquifer. In deterministic aquifer models we infer equivalent, regionally valid parameters. A sensitivity analysis further reveals that as long as aquifer length and position of the groundwater location is roughly known, the parameters can be robustly estimated.
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Houben, T., Pujades, E., Kalbacher, T., Dietrich, P., Attinger, S. (2022):
From dynamic groundwater level measurements to regional aquifer parameters – Assessing the power of spectral analysis
Water Resour. Res. 58 (5), e2021WR031289