Modeling of groundwater flow and transport in coastal karst aquifers
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Numerical modeling of karst water systems is a challenge due to vastly different flow regimes in the solution channels and the porous medium, and because of the complex interactions between them.

Recent developments with unstructured grid models have enabled robust simulation of such systems due to full coupling of the system of equations and the interactions, within a flexible gridding framework that allows these domains to be discretized independently of each other. These capabilities have been incorporated into the MODFLOW-USG code, which has been developed and released in the public domain by the United States Geological Survey. Further developments to MODFLOW-USG have continued and have also been released in the public domain. The significant features that enhance simulations in karst environments include various optional turbulent flow formulations, solute transport capability and a density-dependent flow simulation option that can be used to model transport of nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) or freshwater-seawater interactions, for example. A dual-porosity-flow and dual-porosity-transport formulation is also included to further expand model scale and flexibility. A physically based representation of flow and transport within the karst conduits (channels) and porous medium eliminates the need for various surrogate modeling approaches in karst, thus enabling solutions to some of the common problems that groundwater professionals face when dealing with groundwater resources management in coastal karst areas. A demonstrative example shows the impact of karst on the saltwater system in a coastal aquifer.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Neven Kresic
  • All Authors: Neven Kresic, Geosyntec Consultants; Sorab Panday, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Title: The Hydrogeology Journal
  • Event or Publication: Publication
  • Practice Areas: Groundwater Assessment and Remediation
  • Citation: Neven Kresic, Ph.D., P.G., (Washington, D.C.) coauthored an article entitled “Modeling of groundwater flow and transport in coastal karst aquifers” for publication in Hydrogeology Journal on October 24, 2020.
  • Date: October 24, 2020
  • Publication Type: Journal Article