Comparison of Seepage Simulation in a Saline Environment below an Estuary Using MODFLOW and SEAWAT
Received Date: Apr 03, 2017 / Accepted Date: Apr 12, 2017 / Published Date: Apr 18, 2017
This paper compares the results produced by MODFLOW, a constant-density model, to results produced by SEAWAT, a variable-density model, to investigate the feasibility of using MODFLOW in a saline environment below an estuary known as the Indian River Lagoon. The comparison was conducted over sixteen numerical simulation cases at different conditions of estuarine salinity CL, hydraulic conductivity anisotropy ratio Kr, and water table elevations on the freshwater boundaries in a two-dimensional vertical domain. The use of MODFLOW at the study site under the calibrated Kr distribution ranging from 1000-20,000 was found to accurately match the field-measured and SEAWATsimulated results with a remarkable increase in accuracy at higher groundwater elevations. The study determined a critical value of Kr of 1000 above which, MODFLOW simulations of the variable-density problem produced results that agreed well with those produced by SEAWAT. However, MODFLOW starts to produce significant errors with Kr below the critical value and hence, it should not be used for simulating variable-density environments when Kr<1000. The amount of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) predicted by either model, and also MODFLOW accuracy in predicting the SGD are directly proportional to the head difference between the groundwater divide elevation and the lagoon water surface, but to a lower extent, are inversely proportional to CL.
Keywords: Coastal aquifer; MODFLOW; SEAWAT; Indian River lagoon; Estuary; Submarine groundwater discharge
Citation: Al-Taliby W, Pandit A, Heck H (2017) Comparison of Seepage Simulation in a Saline Environment below an Estuary Using MODFLOW and SEAWAT. Hydrol Current Res 8: 270. Doi: 10.4172/2157-7587.1000270
Copyright: © 2017 Al-Taliby W, et at. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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