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Heterogeneity effects on flow and transport within a shallow fluvial aquifer


Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9702

Heterogeneity effects on flow and transport within a shallow fluvial aquifer

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Title: Heterogeneity effects on flow and transport within a shallow fluvial aquifer
Author: Engdahl, Nicholas
Advisor(s): Weissmann, Gary
Committee Member(s): Meyer, Grant
Thomson, Bruce
Department: University of New Mexico. Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Subject: Heterogeneity
Groundwater modeling
LC Subject(s): Water table--New Mexico--Albuquerque Region--Computer simulation.
Groundwater flow--New Mexico--Albuquerque Region--Computer simulation.
Aquifers--New Mexico--Albuquerque Region--Computer simulation.
Water table----Rio Grande Valley--Computer simulation.
Groundwater flow--Rio Grande Valley--Computer simulation.
Aquifers--Rio Grande Valley--Computer simulation.
Degree Level: Masters
Abstract: The effects of aquifer heterogeneity on flow and transport are considered numerically at two scales using high resolution groundwater models. Heterogeneity effects on river loss were evaluated at the kilometer scale using stochastic, geostatistical models with grid cells on the order of several meters. It was found that river loss decreased directly with an increase in the extent of heterogeneity and that homogeneous approximations resulted in increased loss estimates. Heterogeneity effects on transport were simulated at the scale of several meters using a homogeneous approximation, traditional geostatistical models and a new integrated method of aquifer characterization. The integrated method combines geophysics and geostatistics to create a more realistic approximation of subsurface features. Using grid cells of several centimeters, transport was simulated for multiple heterogeneity realizations in three directions through the models to evaluate potential anisotropy of the transport rates. The resulting breakthrough curves for the homogeneous and traditional geostatistical models showed no directional anisotropy but the integrated models showed anisotropic behavior consistent with the bedding direction as well as non-Fickian transport rates.
Graduation Date: May 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/9702

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