Application of a coupled ground-surface water flow model to simulate periodic groundwater flow influenced by a sloping boundary, capillarity and vertical flows
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Theoretical developments as well as field and laboratory data have shown the influence of the capillary fringe on water table fluctuations to increase with the fluctuation frequency. The numerical solution of a full, partially saturated flow equation can be computationally expensive. In this paper, the influence of the capillary fringe on water table fluctuations is simplified through its parameterisation into the storage coefficient of a fully-saturated groundwater flow model using the complex effective porosity concept [Nielsen, P., Perrochet, P., 2000. Water table dynamics under capillary fringes: experiments and modelling. Advances in Water Resources 23 (1), 503-515; Nielsen, P., Perrochet, P., 2000. ERRATA: water table dynamics under capillary fringes: experiments and modelling (Advances in Water Resources 23 (2000) 503-515). Advances in Water Resources 23, 907-908]. The model is applied to sand flume observations of periodic water table fluctuations induced by simple harmonic forcing across a sloping boundary, analogous to many beach groundwater systems. While not providing information on the moisture distribution within the aquifer, this approach can reasonably predict the water table fluctuations in response to periodic forcing across a sloping boundary. Furthermore, the coupled ground-surface water model accurately predicts the extent of the seepage face formed at the sloping boundary.
Environmental Modelling & Software