Assessing the importance of conduit geometry and physical parameters in karst systems using the storm water management model (SWMM)
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Questions about the importance of conduit geometry and about the values of hydraulic parameters in controlling ground-water flow and solute transport through karstic aquifers have remained largely speculative. One goal of this project was to assess the role that the conduit geometry and the hydraulic parameters have on controlling transport dynamics within karstic aquifers. The storm water management model (SWMM) was applied to the Devil’s Icebox–Connor’s Cave System in central Missouri, USA. Simulations with incremental changes to conduit geometry or hydraulic parameters were performed with the output compared to a calibrated baseline model. Ten percent changes in the length or width of a conduit produced statistically significant different fluid flow responses. The model exhibited minimal sensitivity to slope and infiltration rates; however, slight changes in Manning’s roughness coefficient can highly alter the simulated output. Traditionally, the difference in flow dynamics between karstified aquifers and porous media aquifers has led to the idea that modeling of karst aquifers is more difficult and less precise than modeling of porous media aquifers. When evaluated against models for porous media aquifers, SWMM produced results that were as accurate (10% error compared to basecase). In addition, SWMM has the advantage of providing data about local flow. While SWMM may be an appropriate modeling technique for some karstic aquifers, SWMM should not be viewed as a universal solution to modeling karst systems.
Karst, Numerical Modeling, Fluid Flow, Solute Transport
Peterson, Eric W. and Wicks, Carol M., "Assessing the importance of conduit geometry and physical parameters in karst systems using the storm water management model (SWMM)" (2006). KIP Articles. 363.