Feedback of land subsidence on the movement and conjunctive use of water resources
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:00 AM
The dependency of surface- or groundwater flows and aquifer hydraulic properties on dewatering-induced layer deformation is not available in the USGS’s groundwater model MODFLOW. A new integrated hydrologic model, MODFLOW-OWHM, formulates this dependency by coupling mesh deformation with aquifer transmissivity and storage and by linking land subsidence/uplift with deformation-dependent flows that also depend on aquifer head and other flow terms. In a test example, flows most affected were stream seepage and evapotranspiration from groundwater (ETgw). Deformation feedback also had an indirect effect on conjunctive surface- and groundwater use components: Changed stream seepage and streamflows influenced surface-water deliveries and returnflows. Changed ETgw impacted on irrigation demand, which jointly with altered surface-water supplies resulted in changed supplemental groundwater requirements and pumping and changed return runoff. This modeling feature will improve the impact assessment of dewatering-induced land subsidence/uplift (following irrigation pumping or coal-seam gas extraction) on surface receptors, inter-basin transfers, and surface-infrastructure integrity. A hypothetical example and the Central Valley are used to demonstrate the utility and importance of the new subsidence model linkages for conjunctive use.