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Title: Applications of Ensemble-based Data Assimilation Techniques for Aquifer Characterization using Tracer Data at Hanford 300 Area

Subsurface aquifer characterization often involves high parameter dimensionality and requires tremendous computational resources if employing a full Bayesian approach. Ensemble-based data assimilation techniques, including filtering and smoothing, are computationally efficient alternatives. Despite the increasing number of applications of ensemble-based methods in assimilating flow and transport related data for subsurface aquifer charaterization, most are limited to either synthetic studies or two-dimensional problems. In this study, we applied ensemble-based techniques for assimilating field tracer experimental data obtained from the Integrated Field Research Challenge (IFRC) site at the Hanford 300 Area. The forward problem was simulated using the massively-parallel three-dimensional flow and transport code PFLOTRAN to effectively deal with the highly transient flow boundary conditions at the site and to meet the computational demands of ensemble-based methods. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of ensemble-based methods for characterizing a heterogeneous aquifer by sequentially assimilating multiple types of data. The necessity of employing high performance computing is shown to enable increasingly mechanistic non-linear forward simulations to be performed within the data assimilation framework for a complex system with reasonable turnaround time.
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Water Resources Research, 49:1-13
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
data assimilation, ensemble kalman filter, inverse modeling,uncertainty quantification