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CE-374L McKinney

Project 1

PART I
Assignment: Create a group of no more than 4 students.

Send list of group members to

the instructor (daene@aol.com). You will work in this group for the remainder of the semester.

PART II
Simulating Flow in a One-Dimensional, Homogeneous System
Consider the situation shown below where the conductivity of the homogeneous, isotropic,
confined aquifer is (K = 0.5 m/day, thickness is b = 1.5 m, so transmissivity T = 0.5*1.5 = 0.75
m2/day). The heads on the left- and right-hand boundaries are constant at hA = 6.1 m and hB =
1.5 m, respectively. The mesh spading is x = 1 m and the initial head across the aquifer is
h(x,t=0) = 6.1 m. The storage coefficient is S = 0.02.

Ground surface

Confining Layer

hA
Aquifer

Node

x
hB
b

z!

y!
x!
i= 0

Grid Cell

Figure 1. Vertical cross-section through example aquifer.

The governing equation for flow in the aquifer is

2h
x

S h
T t

A numerical approximation of the second derivative in space is

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CE-374L McKinney

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2h

l
l
hi+1
2hil + hi1

x 2 i
x 2

For the numerical approximation of the first derivative in time, we have two choices

h l hil+1 hil

(forward)
t i
t

h l hil hil1

or
(backward)
t i
t
t (l)

i,l+1

t
i-1,l

i,l

i+1,l
x (i)

x
i,l-1

Figure 2. Grid points used in a backward (explicit) finite-difference approximation in time

Explicit method of solution
In the explicit method of solution, we use all the information at the previous time step to
compute the value at this time step. The method proceeds by calculating for the unknown head
point-by-point across the domain (i = 1, , n). This method can be unstable for large time steps.
The finite-difference equation for the calculation is
l
l
hi+1
2hil + hi1
S hil+1 hil
=
;
T
t
x 2

i = 1,...,n; l = 0,1,2,...

T t l
(hi-1 2hil + hil+1 ) = hil +1 hil
2
S x

Define the parameter of the calculation

r=

T t
S x 2
2

CE-374L McKinney

Project 1

so that

l
hil +1 = hil + r hi-1
2hil + hil+1

where the unknown head at time level l+1 is on the left-hand-side and all of the known
information form the l time level is on the right-hand-side.

Consider two slightly different values for the parameter r: r = 0.48, so that

t = rx 2
and r = 0.52, so that

S
= 0.0128d 18.5min
T

t = 0.0139d 20min
the following results for the odd nodes in the mesh; however, when r =
When r = 0.48, we obtain
0.52, we obtain the following results for the odd nodes in the mesh.

(a) r = 0.48

(b) r = 0.52
Figure 3. Results from solving the explicit approximation.
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CE-374L McKinney

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Whats going on here? At the initial time there is no flow across the aquifer, but at time t > 0,
flow occurs. The water released from storage in a grid cell over time t is

V = Sx(1)h
Water flowing out of the cell over the time interval

V = T

h
t
x /2

So, this needs to be limited to be less than the total water available in the cell, or

2T

or

h
t Sxh
x

r=

T t
1

2
S x
2

When r > 0.5 the time interval is too large and the cell doesnt contain enough water. This
causes an instable solution.

Assignment:

Water flows from left to right in the confined aquifer in the figure below.
Use the following numerical parameters for the aquifer: 5 finite-difference cells; cell width (x)
= 80 m; transmissivity (T) = 1000 m2/day; storage coefficient (S) = 0.002; pumping from first
cell (Q ) = 3.96 m3/day/m2; pumping from fourth cell (Q ) = 6.04 m3/day/m2; left boundary
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head (h0) = 40 m; and right boundary head (h5) = 35 m. Solve for the head at each of the four
unknown finite-difference nodes (i = 1, 2, 3, and 4) using an explicit method with a time step of
t = 10 minutes. Is this a stable time step length for the explicit method? What is the r
parameter?

Q1

Q2

h0

Q4

h5

Flow

x
i=0

Q3

x
i=1

x
i=2

x
i=3

x
i=4

i=5

Figure. Confined aquifer with no pumping from second and third cells (Q2 and Q3 = 0
m3/day/m2)

CE-374L McKinney

Project 1

Note:
The initial conditions for the aquifer are

h(x,t = 0) =

h0l

h5l h0l
1
+
x = 40 x m
L
80

# h &
h
%T ( Q = S
x \$ x '
t

l+1
t
l
l
hi = hil + r(hi1
2hil + hi+1
) Qi
S
T t
r=
S x 2

names in the email.

1. Spreadsheet showing calculations with graphs of the head at nodes i = 1, and 4 over time.
2. Answers to the questions: Is this a stable time step length for the explicit method? What
is the r parameter?
3. If the answer in (2) is No, then what is a stable time step?

PART III
Assignment:
1. Software: Download and install the GroundwaterVistas software (see last page below for
instructions)
2. Example Problem: Use GrounwaterVistas to prepare the example model and run it as
shown in the class handout: Groundwater_Modeling_2.pptx
ptx)
3.

Email to the instructor (daene@aol.com). Put your Team

Members names in the email.
1. GroundwaterVistas file for your model (*.gwv file).
2. MS Word document describing your results.
a. Color plots of heads in each of the three layers of your model.
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CE-374L McKinney

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b. The Mass Balance page from the MODFLOW Output file (Model
MODFLOW View Output File)
4. Assignment Problem (see Figure below): Use GrounwaterVistas to prepare the
MODFLOW model for the problem described below1
An alluvial valley contains a river that is in direct contact with an unconfined aquifer that,
in turn, overlies a semi-confined aquifer.
A grid of 3 layers, 11 rows (x = 200 m) and 8 columns (y = 300 m) is used to model
the aquifer.
A well pumps 1200 m3/day from cell (row, column, layer) = (5, 6, 3)
Recharge occurs at a rate of 200 mm/year
Heads along Row 1 = 22 m above the top of the confining bed
Heads along Row 11 = 18 m above the top of the confining bed
A river extends along Column 3 in Layer 1 of the model. The river is 10 m wide and 300
m long in each cell. The conductivity of the river bottom is Kriv = 0.1 m/day, and the
thickness of the riverbed is = 0.2 m. The river stage (height of water in the river) and the
river bed elevation vary according to the values in the following table.
o Layer 1: Kh = 5 m/day, Kv = 1 m/day, n = 0.35
o Layer 2: Kh = 0.1 m/day, Kv = 0.05 m/day, n = 0.40
o Layer 3: Kh = 10 m/day, Kv = 1 m/day, n = 0.30

River&Cell&

y =\$300\$m

Column

x=200\$m

1
River

1
Layer
2

Row

Unconfined\$Aquifer
11
Well\$(In\$Layer\$3)

+20\$m

River&Cell&

Confining\$bed

0\$m
&5\$m

Semi&Confined\$Aquifer

&15\$m
1600\$m

Apply constant head boundary conditions to all cells on the ends in all three layers, EXCEPT for
the cell containing the RIVER and make that cell a River Boundary Condition cell.

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taken from R. J. Charbeneau, Groundwater Hydraulics and Pollutant Transport, Prentice Hall, 2000

CE-374L McKinney

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Row Col River Stage River Bottom
1
3
22.0
20.0
2
3
21.6
19.6
3
3
21.2
19.2
4
3
20.8
18.8
5
3
20.4
18.4
6
3
20.0
18.0
7
3
19.6
17.6
8
3
19.2
17.2
9
3
18.8
16.8
10
3
18.4
16.4
11
3
18.0
16.0

Apply recharge to the TOP LAYER ONLY as shown in the following screen-shots. Select
Modflow Options and select Recharge in Top Layer Only. Then select Recharge from the
Props menu. Then select Property Values form the Props menu followed by Database. Then
fill in the recharge value for zone 1. Then select Props Set Value or Zone Window and
select all the cells in the first layer and assign them to zone 1.

CE-374L McKinney

Project 1

CE-374L McKinney

Project 1