Publications

Low-resolution modeling of dense drainage networks in confining layers

Pauw, P.S.; Zee, S.E.A.T.M. van der; Leijnse, A.; Delsman, J.R.; Louw, P.G.B. de; Lange, W.J. de; Oude Essink, G.H.P.

Summary

Groundwater-surface water (GW-SW) interaction in numerical groundwater flow models is generally simulated using a Cauchy boundary condition, which relates the flow between the surface water and the groundwater to the product of the head difference between the node and the surface water level, and a coefficient, often referred to as the “conductance.” Previous studies have shown that in models with a low grid resolution, the resistance to GW-SW interaction below the surface water bed should often be accounted for in the parameterization of the conductance, in addition to the resistance across the surface water bed. Three conductance expressions that take this resistance into account were investigated: two that were presented by Mehl and Hill (2010) and the one that was presented by De Lange (1999). Their accuracy in low-resolution models regarding salt and water fluxes to a dense drainage network in a confined aquifer system was determined. For a wide range of hydrogeological conditions, the influence of (1) variable groundwater density; (2) vertical grid discretization; and (3) simulation of both ditches and tile drains in a single model cell was investigated. The results indicate that the conductance expression of De Lange (1999) should be used in similar hydrogeological conditions as considered in this paper, as it is better taking into account the resistance to flow below the surface water bed. For the cases that were considered, the influence of variable groundwater density and vertical grid discretization on the accuracy of the conductance expression of De Lange (1999) is small.