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Forward Coupled Modeling and Assessment of Gravity Anomalies Caused by Pumping Tests in Unconfined Aquifers Under Unsteady-State Conditions

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Abstract

Analysis of drawdown data from pumping tests is the most common method for identification of aquifer properties and estimation of hydraulic parameters in hydrogeology. Limited hard hydraulic data from wells, expensive and intrusive, can be supplemented with geophysical spatially distributed information. Gravity, sensible to mass variations, can provide information about hydraulic parameters and storage coefficients of aquifers. A satisfactory use of gravity requires the computation of temporal evolution of gravity anomalies related with the dynamic hydraulic process. For simplified and ideal problems, the calculation can be accomplished with analytical solutions. However, the limitations of analytical solutions in capturing some relevant characteristics, like heterogeneities, that require the use of numerical models, are well known. This article shows how the time-dependent gravity anomaly caused by a pumping test can be calculated in a unique code, in a coupled manner and in a single run. The methodology avoids the use and transference of data between various codes and can be utilized in a coupled hydrogeophysical inversion procedure. Additionally, it is flexible enough to include a wide range of characteristics that can be encountered in any pumping test, and is an adequate framework for field survey planning via analysis and study of time-dependent gravity curves.

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González-Quirós, A., & Fernández-Álvarez, J. P. (2017). Forward Coupled Modeling and Assessment of Gravity Anomalies Caused by Pumping Tests in Unconfined Aquifers Under Unsteady-State Conditions. Mathematical Geosciences, 49(5), 603–617. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11004-016-9634-1

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