Sensitivity Analysis of a Combined Groundwater Flow and Solute Transport Model Using Local-Grid. Refinement: A Case Study

Matej Gedeon, Dirk Mallants

    Research outputpeer-review


    Combining groundwater flow models with solute transport models represents a common challenge in groundwater resources assessments and contaminant transport modelling. The solution that is explored in this paper is based on defining a finer grid subdomain within a larger coarser domain. The local-grid refinement (LGR) implemented in the MODFLOW code has such a provision to simulate groundwater flow in two nested grids: a higher-resolution sub-grid within a coarse grid. Under the premise that the interface between both models was well defined, a comprehensive sensitivity and un- certainty analysis was performed whereby the effect of a parameter perturbation in a coarser-grid model on transport predictions using a higher-resolution grid was quantified. This approach was tested for a groundwater flow and solute transport analysis in support of a safety evaluation of the future surface radioactive waste disposal facility. Our reference coarse-grid groundwater flow model was coupled with a smaller fine sub-grid model in two different ways. While the reference flow model was calibrated using observed groundwater levels at a scale commensurate with that of the coarse-grid model, the fine sub-grid model was used to run a solute transport simulation quantifying concentrations in a hypothetical well nearby the disposal facility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)881-899
    JournalMathematical Geosciences
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - Sep 2012

    Cite this