Stochastic delineation of capture zones for the well field ‘Het Rot’ in Belgium.

Luc Feyen, M. Dessalegn, Florimond De Smedt, Seifu Gebremeskel, Okke Batelaan

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This paper presents a Bayesian Monte Carlo method for evaluating the uncertainty in the delineation of well capture zones and its application to a wellfield in a heterogeneous, multiaquifer system. In the method presented, Bayes' rule is used to update prior distributions for the unknown parameters of the stochastic model for the hydraulic conductivity, and to calculate probability-based weights for parameter realizations using head residuals. These weights are then assigned to the corresponding capture zones obtained using forward particle tracking. Statistical analysis of the set of weighted protection zones results in a probability distribution for the capture zones. The suitability of the Bayesian stochastic method for a multilayered system is investigated, using the wellfield Het Rot at Nieuwrode, Belgium, located in a three-layered aquifer system, as an example. The hydraulic conductivity of the production aquifer is modeled as a spatially correlated random function with uncertain parameters. The aquitard and overlying uncon-fined aquifer are assigned random, homogeneous conductivities. The stochastic results are compared with deterministic capture zones obtained with a calibrated model for the area. The predictions of the stochastic approach are more conservative and indicate that parameter uncertainty should be taken into account in the delineation of well capture zones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-551
Number of pages9
JournalGround Water
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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