Determining effective data requirements for evaluating regional aquifers using the analytic element method
Fredrick, Kyle C.
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Ground water modeling allows for the understanding and evaluation of this valuable resource. Modeling tools and methods continually evolve and improve. This project was designed to assist in the development of new tools to integrate a geographic information system (GIS) with analytic element modeling (AEM). Over the course of this research, ground water models were developed using a more systematic approach than conventional methods have historically used. The first project utilized a simple ground water model to create a layer in an indexing model for evaluating ground water vulnerability to pollution. A depth to water map was created to augment a previous indexing scheme for the Ischua Creek Watershed in southern New York State to improve the characterization of the ground water system. The second project demonstrated the use of unconventional data for calibration of a ground water model. The model incorporated surface water elevations from seepage lakes and wetlands as ground water observations for calibration of hydraulic conductivity of a surficial aquifer system in the Northern Highland Lakes Region of Wisconsin (NHLR). The final project used a GIS extension for AEM modeling to determine how model element simplification effects calibration results based on different calibration targets. A model of the NHLR at varying degrees of resolution in terms of hydrologic boundaries and hydraulic conductivity zones was calibrated to head, travel time, and flux. Calibration results indicate, and are supported by AICc statistics, that ground water models are more sensitive to simplification of hydrologic boundaries than the number of hydraulic conductivity zones.