Simplified two-dimensional modelling to constrain the deep groundwater contribution in a complex mineral water mixing area, Riardo Plain, southern Italy
Complex hydrogeological systems require detailed knowledge of aquifer dynamics to ensure appropriate and sustainable management of the groundwater resource. The Riardo Plain aquifer, southern Italy, is a strategic resource for conjunctive uses; nevertheless, the conceptual model still suffers some uncertainties due to the presence of a deep lateral inflow through the carbonate basement. Therefore, the realisation of a 3D numerical model at catchment scale needs preliminary tests to constrain the possible additional inflow rate, which is at the moment only estimated through the results of the groundwater budget calculation. A 2D section of the mixing area was modelled using FEFLOW in order to test the hypothesis of a combined recharge. Seven versions of the same model were calibrated over an increasing number of adjustable parameters according to their sensitivity. The most efficient model version was identified according to the calculated information criteria and the sum of squared-weighted residuals. In the second phase of the work, nine model scenarios characterised by different deep inflow rates were calibrated and validated according to the same procedure of the first model, in order to identify the range of possible acceptable solutions. The most likely deep inflow rate is 34 ± 4% of the total recharge, corresponding to an estimated deep inflow of 415 ± 50 L/s in the Riardo Plain aquifer through the carbonate basement. This methodological approach will be the basis of following numerical 3D numerical models of the Riardo Plain and can be a valuable tool in conceptualising similar mineral water areas.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10040-018-1910-3
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