Modeling complex flow in a karst aquifer
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Carbonate aquifers typically have complex groundwater flow patterns that result from depositional heterogeneities and post-lithification fracturing and karstification. Various sources of information may be used to build a conceptual understanding of flow in the system, including drilling data, well tests, geophysical surveys, tracer tests, and spring gaging. These data were assembled to model flow numerically in Germany's Malm Formation, at a site where water disappears from the beds of ephemeral stream valleys, flows through conduit systems, and discharges to springs along surface water features. Modeling was performed by using a finite-difference approach, with drain networks, representing the conduit component of flow, laced throughout the porous medium along paths inferred on the basis of site data. This approach represents an improvement over other karst models that attempt to represent a conduit by a single, specialized model node at the spring location or by assigning a computationally problematic extremely high permeability to a zone. By handling the conduit portion of this mixed-flow system with drains, a realistic, interpretive flow model was created for this intricate aquifer.
Mixed-Flow Karst, Malm Formation, Groundwater Modeling, Conduits, Hohenfels
Sedimentary Geology, Vol. 184, no. 3-4 (2006-02-15).
J.Quinn, John; Tomasko, David; and A.Kuiper, James, "Modeling complex flow in a karst aquifer" (2006). KIP Articles. 3544.