Evaluation of the MODFLOW-2005 Conduit Flow Process

Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



The recent development of the Conduit Flow Process (CFP) by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides hydrogeologic modelers with a new tool that incorporates the non-Darcian, multiporosity components of flow characteristic of karst aquifers. CFP introduces new parameters extending beyond those of traditional Darcian groundwater flow codes. We characterize a karst aquifer to collect data useful for evaluating this new tool at a test site in west-central Florida, where the spatial distribution and cross-sectional area of the conduit network are available. Specifically, we characterize: (1) the potential for Darcian/non-Darcian flow using estimates of specific discharge vs. observed hydraulic gradients, and (2) the temporal variation for the direction and magnitude of fluid exchange between the matrix and conduit network during extreme hydrologic events. We evaluate the performance of CFP Mode 1 using a site-scale dual-porosity model and compare its performance with a comparable laminar equivalent continuum model (ECM) using MODFLOW-2005. Based on our preliminary analyses, hydraulic conductivity coupled with conduit wall conductance improved the match between observed and simulated discharges by 12% to 40% over turbulent flow alone (less than 1%).

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Groundwater, v. 48, issue 4, p. 549-559