TESTING GEOLOGIC HYPOTHESES THROUGH MULTIPLE WORKING CONSTRAINTS
Increasingly, the testing of geologic hypotheses is coming to rely on numerical experimentation. This is particularly true for groundwater models. Often the hypothesis test, or validation, relies on the matching of simulation results to field measurements. Using examples from well testing, this presentation will show how multiple geometric and parametric models can be fitted equally well to same data sets. Although some well test responses are associated with porous media or fracture flow, or with specific geometries or processes such as dual porosity, the models are highly non-unique. Choosing among the possible hypotheses or conceptual models requires additional constraints from geologic, geochemical, or geophysical sources. Just as geologists in the past came to rely on multiple working hypotheses, geologic hypothesis testing through numerical simulation may come to rely on multiple working constraints from independent lines of evidence.