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Flow partitioning in regional groundwater flow systems as a function of recharge and topography

Abstract : The distribution of groundwater fluxes in aquifers is strongly influenced by topography, and organized between hillslope and regional scales. In this study, we use a finite-difference flow model to quantify the partitioning of recharge and compartmentalization of aquifers between shallow/local and deep/regional groundwater transfers. The flow structure is analyzed for a regional aquifers, as a function of recharge (from 20 to 500 mm/yr), in 3-dimensions, and accounting for variable groundwater discharge zones. The Probability Density Function of transit times shows two different parts, interpreted using a two-compartment model, related to regional and local groundwater flows. The role of recharge on the size and nature of the flow regimes, including groundwater pathways, transit time distributions, and volumes associated to the two compartments is investigated. Results show that topography control on the water table and groundwater compartmentalization varies with the recharge rate applied. The volume associated to the regional compartment is calculated from the exponential part of the two-compartment model, and is nearly insensitive to the total recharge fluctuations. The model also allows visualizing 3D circulations, as those provided by Tothian models in 2D, and shows local and regional transfers, with 3D effects. Results are presented for a specific basin (1400 km2) in Brittany (France). Preliminary results using different kinds of topography are presented and compared.
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 27, 2015 - 2:10:42 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 11:47:25 AM


  • HAL Id : insu-01121101, version 1


Pascal Goderniaux, Philippe Davy, Etienne Bresciani, Jean-Raynald de Dreuzy, Tanguy Le Borgne. Flow partitioning in regional groundwater flow systems as a function of recharge and topography. AGU Fall Meeting 2013, American Geophysical Union, Dec 2013, San Francisco, United States. pp.H11H-1239. ⟨insu-01121101⟩



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