Integrating a Gravity Simulation and Groundwater Numerical Modeling on the Calibration of Specific Yield for Choshui Alluvial Fan

Friday, 19 December 2014
Cheng Yin Hsu, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
In Taiwan, groundwater resources play a vital role on the regional supply management. Because the groundwater resources have been used without proper management in decades, several kinds of natural hazards, such as land subsidence, have been occurred. The Choshui alluvial fan is one of the hot spots in Taiwan. For sustainable management, accurately estimation of recharge is the most important information. The accuracy is highly related to the uncertainty of specific yield (Sy). Besides, because the value of Sy should be tested via a multi-well pumping test, the installation cost for the multi-well system limits the number of field tests. Therefore, the low spatial density of field test for Sy makes the estimation of recharge contains high uncertainty.

The proposed method combines MODFLOW with a numerical integration procedure that calculates the gravity variations. Heterogeneous parameters (Sy) can be assigned to MODFLOW cells. An inverse procedure is then applied to interpret and identify the Sy value around the gravity station. The proposed methodology is applied to the Choshui alluvial fan, one of the most important groundwater basins in Taiwan. Three gravity measurement stations, “GS01”, “GS02” and “GS03”, were established. The location of GS01 is in the neighborhood of a groundwater observation well where pumping test data are available. The Sy value estimated from the gravitation measurements collected from GS01 compares favorably with that obtained from the traditional pumping test. The comparison verifies the correctness and accuracy of the proposed method. We then use the gravity measurements collected from GS02 and GS03 to estimate the Sy values in the areas where there exist no pumping test data. Using the estimated values obtained from gravity measurements, the spatial distribution of the values of specific yield for the aquifer can be further refined. The proposed method is a cost-saving and accuracy alternative for the estimation of specific yield in a regional groundwater system.