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Research Paper/ On the Interpretation of Recharge Estimates from Steady-State
 

Summary: Research Paper/
On the Interpretation of Recharge Estimates from Steady-State
Model Calibrations
William P. Anderson, Jr.
Department of Geology, ASU Box 32067, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608-2067
(andersonwp@appstate.edu)
David G. Evans
Department of Geology, California State University, Sacramento, Campus Box 6043, 6000 J Street,
Sacramento, CA 95819-6043 (dave_evans@csus.edu)
Abstract
Ground-water recharge is often estimated through the calibration of ground-water flow models. We examine
the nature of calibration errors by considering some simple mathematical and numerical calculations. From these
calculations we conclude that calibrating a steady-state ground-water flow model to water-level extremes yields
estimates of recharge that have the same value as the time-varying recharge at the time the water levels are
measured. These recharge values, however, are a subdued version of the actual, transient recharge signal. In
addition, calibrating a steady-state ground-water flow model to data collected during periods of rising water levels
will produce recharge values that underestimate the actual, transient recharge. Similarly, calibrating during periods
of falling water levels will overestimate the actual, transient recharge. We also demonstrate that average water levels
can be used to estimate the actual average recharge rate provided that water-level data have been collected for a
sufficient amount of time.

  

Source: Anderson Jr., William P. - Department of Geology, Appalachian State University

 

Collections: Geosciences