Simulating flow in karst aquifers at laboratory and sub-regional scales using MODFLOW-CFP
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Groundwater flow in a well-developed karst aquifer dominantly occurs through bedding planes, fractures, conduits, and caves created by and/or enlarged by dissolution. Conventional groundwater modeling methods assume that groundwater flow is described by Darcian principles where primary porosity (i.e. matrix porosity) and laminar flow are dominant. However, in well-developed karst aquifers, the assumption of Darcian flow can be questionable. While Darcian flow generally occurs in the matrix portion of the karst aquifer, flow through conduits can be non-laminar where the relation between specific discharge and hydraulic gradient is non-linear. MODFLOW-CFP is a relatively new modeling program that accounts for non-laminar and laminar flow in pipes, like karst caves, within an aquifer. In this study, results from MODFLOW-CFP are compared to those from MODFLOW-2000/2005, a numerical code based on Darcy’s law, to evaluate the accuracy that CFP can achieve when modeling flows in karst aquifers at laboratory and sub-regional (Woodville Karst Plain, Florida, USA) scales. In comparison with laboratory experiments, simulation results by MODFLOW-CFP are more accurate than MODFLOW 2005. At the sub-regional scale, MODFLOW-CFP was more accurate than MODFLOW-2000 for simulating field measurements of peak flow at one spring and total discharges at two springs for an observed storm event.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Gallegos, Josue Jacob; Hu, Bill X.; and Davis, Hal, "Simulating flow in karst aquifers at laboratory and sub-regional scales using MODFLOW-CFP" (2013). KIP Articles. 6575.