2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 2:45 PM

Using Data Assimilation Method to Calibrate a Heterogeneous Conductivity Field and Improve Solute Transport Prediction with An Unknown Contamination

HU, Bill X.1, HUANG, Chunlin2, LI, Xin2 and YE, Ming3, (1)Geological Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, (2)Cold and Arid Region Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Lanzhou, 730000, China, (3)Computational Science, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, hu@gly.fsu.edu

Hydraulic conductivity distribution and plume initial source condition are two important factors to affect solute transport in a naturally heterogeneous medium. Due to current economic and technologic limitations, hydraulic conductivity can only be measured at limited locations in a field. Therefore, its spatial distribution in a complex heterogeneous medium is generally uncertain. In many groundwater contamination sites, solute initial conditions are generally unknown. The plume distributions are available only at sometimes after the contaminations occurred. In this study, a data assimilation method is developed for calibrating a hydraulic conductivity field and improving solute transport prediction with unknown initial solute source condition. Ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is used to update the model parameter, hydraulic conductivity, and model variables, hydraulic head and solute concentration, when data are available. Two-dimensional numerical experiments are designed to assess the performance of the EnKF method on data assimilation for solute transport prediction. The study results indicate that the EnKF method will significantly improve the estimation of the hydraulic conductivity distribution and solute transport prediction by assimilating hydraulic head measurements with a known solute initial condition. When solute source is unknown, solute prediction by assimilating continuous measurements of solute concentration at a few points in the plume will well capture the plume evolution process in downstream.