Example Applications of A Physically-Based 3D Surface-Subsurface Hydrologic Model Over Multiple Spatial and Temporal Scales

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 10:35 AM
Edward A Sudicky1, Y-J Park2, H-T Hwang2, S Berg2 and S Frey2, (1)University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada, (2)Aquanty, Inc., Waterloo, ON, Canada
It is now generally accepted within the scientific community that the climate is changing, and that future climate change may have significant impact on water resources in both quantity and quality. Alterations of base flow to rivers due to changing subsurface flow patterns, fluctuations in soil moisture and in the depth of the groundwater table, water levels in lakes and wetlands, and altered groundwater recharge/discharge patterns are examples of possible consequences of future climate change. In this presentation, our physically-based model, HydroGeoSphere (HGS), is first briefly described. It is a physically-based 3D control-volume finite element model representing 2D surface water flow and transport on the land surface together with 3D variably-saturated flow and transport in the subsurface. A globally implicit scheme used to solve the nonlinear surface and subsurface flow and transport equations simultaneously. The model can explicitly account for the hydrologic, solute and thermal interactions between surface and subsurface flow regimes as well as the atmospheric inputs in terms of air temperature, solar radiation and sensible/latent heat fluxes. A parallel computational framework has been implemented to facilitate model applications in high performance computing environments. The applicability of the model is demonstrated for a variety of problems, covering the hill slope scale to improve the understanding of the physical and chemical processes in the water cycle, to the assessment of the impact of climate change on water resources over the Canadian landmass in three dimensions. The climate-driven 3D basin-scale examples range from that of a highly characterized watershed in Southern Ontario having an area of about 7000 km2 to a large basin in Western Canada that covers an area of about 120,000 km2. The continental scale simulations explore the impacts of global climate change on Canada’s surface and groundwater resources.