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- PublicationAccès libreTopsoil structure stability in a restored floodplain: Impacts of fluctuating water levels, soil parameters and ecosystem engineers(2018-6-1)
; ; ;Guenat, Claire ;Schrimer, Mario ;Ecosystem services provided by floodplains are strongly controlled by the structural stability of soils. The development of a stable structure in floodplain soils is affected by a complex and poorly understood interplay of hydrological, physico-chemical and biological processes. This paper aims at analysing relations between fluctuating groundwater levels, soil physico-chemical and biological parameters on soil structure stability in a restored floodplain.Water level fluctuations in the soil are modelled using a numerical surface-water–groundwater flow model and correlated to soil physico-chemical parameters and abundances of plants and earthworms. Causal relations andmultiple interactions between the investigated parameters are tested through structural equation modelling (SEM). Fluctuatingwater levels in the soil did not directly affect the topsoil structure stability, but indirectly through affecting plant roots and soil parameters that in turn determine topsoil structure stability. These relations remain significant for mean annual days of complete and partial (N25%)water saturation. Ecosystemfunctioning of a restored floodplainmight already be affected by the fluctuation of groundwater levels alone, and not only through complete flooding by surface water during a flood period. Surprisingly, abundances of earthworms did not showany relation to other variables in the SEM. These findings emphasise that earthworms have efficiently adapted to periodic stress and harsh environmental conditions. Variability of the topsoil structure stability is thus stronger driven by the influence of fluctuatingwater levels on plants than by the abundance of earthworms. This knowledge about the functional network of soil engineering organisms, soil parameters and fluctuating water levels and how they affect soil structural stability is of fundamental importance to define management strategies of near-natural or restored floodplains in the future
- PublicationAccès libreTopsoil structure stability in a restored floodplain: Impacts of fluctuatingwater levels, soil parameters and ecosystem engineers(2017-6)
; ; ;Guenat, C. ; ;Ecosystem services provided byfloodplains are strongly controlled by the structural stability of soils. The developmentof a stable structure infloodplain soils is affected by a complex and poorly understood interplay of hydrological,physico-chemical and biological processes. This paper aims at analysing relations betweenfluctuating groundwaterlevels, soil physico-chemical and biological parameters on soil structure stability in a restoredfloodplain. Water levelfluctuations in the soil are modelled using a numerical surface-water–groundwaterflow model and correlated tosoil physico-chemical parameters and abundances of plants and earthworms. Causal relations and multiple interactionsbetween the investigated parameters are tested through structural equation modelling (SEM). Fluctuating water levelsin the soil did not directly affect the topsoil structure stability, but indirectly through affecting plant roots and soil pa-rameters that in turn determine topsoil structure stability. These relations remain significant for mean annual days ofcomplete and partial (N25%) water saturation. Ecosystem functioning of a restoredfloodplain might already be affectedby thefluctuation of groundwater levels alone, and not only through completeflooding by surface water during afloodperiod. Surprisingly, abundances of earthworms did notshow any relation to other variables in the SEM. Thesefindingsemphasise that earthworms have efficiently adapted to periodic stress and harsh environmental conditions. Variabilityof the topsoil structure stability is thus stronger driven by the influence offluctuating water levels on plants than by theabundance of earthworms. This knowledge about the functional network of soil engineering organisms, soil parametersandfluctuating water levels and how they affect soil structural stability is of fundamental importance to define man-agement strategies of near-natural or restoredfloodplains in the future.
- PublicationAccès libreIntegrating hydrological modelling, data assimilation and cloud computing for real-time management of water resources(2017-7-1)
; ;Kurtz, Wolfgang ; ; ; ; ;Braun, Torsten ; ;Vereecken, Harry ;Sudicky, Edward ;Franssen, Harrie-Jan HendricksOnline data acquisition, data assimilation and integrated hydrological modelling have become more and more important in hydrological science. In this study, we explore cloud computing for integrating field data acquisition and stochastic, physically-based hydrological modelling in a data assimilation and optimisation framework as a service to water resources management. For this purpose, we developed an ensemble Kalman filter-based data assimilation system for the fully-coupled, physically-based hydrological model HydroGeoSphere, which is able to run in a cloud computing environment. A synthetic data assimilation experiment based on the widely used tilted V-catchment problem showed that the computational overhead for the application of the data assimilation platform in a cloud computing environment is minimal, which makes it well-suited for practical water management problems. Advantages of the cloud-based implementation comprise the independence from computational infrastructure and the straightforward integration of cloud-based observation databases with the modelling and data assimilation platform.
- PublicationAccès libreReal-time Environmental Monitoring for Cloud-based Hydrogeological Modeling with HydroGeoSphere(: IEEE Computer Society, 2014)
; ; ; ; ; ;Jamakovic-Kapic, A. ;Braun, T.Maffioletti, S.This paper describes an architecture for real-time environmental modeling. It consists of a wireless mesh network equipped with sensors and a cloud-based infrastructure to perform real-time environmental sim- ulations using a physics-based model combined with an Ensemble Kalman Filter. The purpose of the system is to optimize groundwater abstraction close to a river. These initial studies demonstrate that the cloud infrastructure can simultaneously compute a large number of simula- tions, thus allowing for the implementation of Ensemble Kalman Filters in real-time.
- PublicationAccès libreA Framework for Untangling Transient Groundwater Mixing and Travel Times(2021-2)
;Popp, Andrea L. ;Pardo-Alvarez, Alvaro ; ;Scheidegger, Andreas ;Musy, Stephanie ;Peel, Morgan ; ;Purtschert, Roland ;Kipfer, RolfUnderstanding the mixing between surface water and groundwater as well as groundwater travel times in vulnerable aquifers is crucial to sustaining a safe water supply. Age dating tracers used to infer apparent travel times typically refer to the entire groundwater sample. A groundwater sample, however, consists of a mixture of waters with a distribution of travel times. Age dating tracers only reflect the proportion of the water that is under the dating range of the used tracer, thus their interpretation is typically biased. Additionally, end-member mixing models are subject to various sources of uncertainties, which are typically neglected. In this study, we introduce a new framework that untangles groundwater mixing ratios and travel times using a novel combination of in-situ noble gas analyses. We applied this approach during a groundwater pumping test carried out in a pre-alpine Swiss valley. First, we calculated transient mixing ratios between recently infiltrated river water and regional groundwater present in a wellfield, using helium-4 concentrations combined with a Bayesian end-member mixing model. Having identified the groundwater fraction of recently infiltrated river water (Frw) consequently allowed us to infer the travel times from the river to the wellfield, estimated based on radon-222 activities of Frw. Furthermore, we compared tracer-based estimates of Frw with results from a calibrated numerical model. We demonstrate (i) that partitioning of major water sources enables a meaningful interpretation of an age dating tracer of the water fraction of interest and (ii) that the streambed has a major control on the estimated travel times.
- PublicationAccès libreWireless Mesh Networks and Cloud Computing for Real Time Environmental Simulations(: Springer, 2014-4-22)
; ; ; ; ;Predicting the influence of drinking water pumping on stream and groundwater levels is essential for sustainable water management. Given the highly dynamic nature of such systems any quantitative analysis must be based on robust and reliable modeling and simulation approaches. The paper presents a wireless mesh-network framework for environmental real time monitoring integrated with a cloud computing environment to execute the hydrogeological simulation model. The simulation results can then be used to sustainably control the pumping stations. The use case of the Emmental catchment and pumping location illustrates the feasibility and effectiveness of our approach even in harsh environmental conditions.
- PublicationAccès libreThe influence of riverbed heterogeneity patterns on river-aquifer exchange fluxes under different connection regimes(2017-9)
;Tang, Qi ;Kurtz, W. ; ; ;Vereecken, H.Hendricks Franssen, Harrie-JanRiverbed hydraulic conductivity (K) is a critical parameter for the prediction of exchange fluxes between a river and an aquifer. In this study, the role of heterogeneity patterns was explored using the fully integrated hydrological model HydroGeoSphere simulating complex, variably saturated subsurface flow. A synthetic 3-D river-aquifer reference model was constructed with a heterogeneous riverbed using nonmulti-Gaussian patterns in the form of meandering channels. Data assimilation was used to test the ability of different riverbed K patterns to reproduce hydraulic heads, riverbed K and river-aquifer exchange fluxes. Both fully saturated as well as variably saturated conditions underneath the riverbed were tested. The data assimilation experiments with the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) were carried out for four types of geostatistical models of riverbed K fields: (i) spatially homogeneous, (ii) heterogeneous with multiGaussian distribution, (iii) heterogeneous with non-multi-Gaussian distribution (channelized structures) and (iv) heterogeneous with non-multi-Gaussian distribution (elliptic structures). For all data assimilation experiments, state variables and riverbed K were updated by assimilating hydraulic heads. For saturated conditions, heterogeneous geostatistical models allowed a better characterization of net exchange fluxes than a homogeneous approximation. Among the three heterogeneous models, the performance of non-multi-Gaussian models was superior to the performance of the multi-Gaussian model, but the two tested non-multi-Gaussian models showed only small differences in performance from one another. For the variably saturated conditions both the multi-Gaussian model and the homogeneous model performed clearly worse than the two non-multi-Gaussian models. The two non-multi-Gaussian models did not show much difference in performance. This clearly shows that characterizing heterogeneity of riverbed K is important. Moreover, particularly under variably saturated flow conditions the mean and the variance of riverbed K do not provide enough information for exchange flux characterization and additional histogram information of riverbed K provides crucial information for the reproduction of exchange fluxes.
- PublicationAccès libreBeyond Classical Observations in Hydrogeology: The Advantages of Including Exchange Flux, Temperature, Tracer Concentration, Residence Time, and Soil Moisture Observations in Groundwater Model Calibration(2019-2)
; ;Cook, Peter G.Traditionally, groundwater and surface water flow models have been calibrated against two observation types: hydraulic heads and surface water discharge. It has repeatedly been demonstrated, however, that these classical observations do not contain sufficient information to calibrate flow models. To reduce the predictive uncertainty of flow models, the consideration of other observation types constitutes a promising way forward. Despite the ever‐increasing availability of other observation types, however, they are still unconventional when it comes to flow model calibration. By reviewing studies that included nonclassical observations in flow model calibration, benefits and challenges associated with their integration in flow model calibration were identified, and their information content was analyzed. While explicit simulation of mass transport processes in flow models poses challenges, even simplified approaches to integrate tracer concentrations yield significantly better calibration results than using only classical observations. For a majority of calibrated flow models, observations of tracer concentrations and of exchange fluxes were beneficial. Temperature observations improved the simulation of heat transport but often worsened all other model outcomes. Only when temperature observations were made within 2 m of the surface water‐groundwater interface did they have the potential to also improve flow and mass transport simulations. Surprisingly, many models were calibrated manually rather than with the widely available, mathematically robust and automated tools. There is a clear need for more systematic implementation of unconventional observations and automated flow model calibration as well as for more systematic quantification of the information content of unconventional observations.
- PublicationAccès libreEstimating the Spatial Extent of Unsaturated Zones in Heterogeneous River Aquifer Systems(2017-10)
; ;Irvine, Dylan J. ;Hendricks Franssen, Harrie-JanThe presence of unsaturated zones at the river‐aquifer interface has large implications on numerous hydraulic and chemical processes. However, the hydrological and geological controls that influence the development of unsaturated zones have so far only been analyzed with simplified conceptualizations of flow processes, or homogeneous conceptualizations of the hydraulic conductivity in either the aquifer or the riverbed. We systematically investigated the influence of heterogeneous structures in both the riverbed and the aquifer on the development of unsaturated zones. A stochastic 1‐D criterion that takes both riverbed and aquifer heterogeneity into account was developed using a Monte Carlo sampling technique. The approach allows the reliable estimation of the upper bound of the spatial extent of unsaturated areas underneath a riverbed. Through systematic numerical modeling experiments, we furthermore show that horizontal capillary forces can reduce the spatial extent of unsaturated zones under clogged areas. This analysis shows how the spatial structure of clogging layers and aquifers influence the propensity for unsaturated zones to develop: In riverbeds where clogged areas are made up of many small, spatially disconnected patches with a diameter in the order of 1 m, unsaturated areas are less likely to develop compared to riverbeds where large clogged areas exist adjacent to unclogged areas. A combination of the stochastic 1‐D criterion with an analysis of the spatial structure of the clogging layers and the potential for resaturation can help develop an appropriate conceptual model and inform the choice of a suitable numerical simulator for river‐aquifer systems.
- PublicationAccès libreAdvancing Physically-Based Flow Simulations of Alluvial Systems Through Atmospheric Noble Gases and the Novel 37Ar Tracer Method(2017-12-26)
; ;Gerber, Christoph ;Purtschert, Roland ;Brennwald, Matthias S. ;Kipfer, RolfTo provide a sound understanding of the sources, pathways, and residence times of groundwater water in alluvial river-aquifer systems, a combined multitracer and modeling experiment was carried out in an important alluvial drinking water wellfield in Switzerland. 222Rn, 3H/3He, atmospheric noble gases, and the novel 37Ar-method were used to quantify residence times and mixing ratios of water from different sources. With a half-life of 35.1 days, 37Ar allowed to successfully close a critical observational time gap between 222Rn and 3H/3He for residence times of weeks to months. Covering the entire range of residence times of groundwater in alluvial systems revealed that, to quantify the fractions of water from different sources in such systems, atmospheric noble gases and helium isotopes are tracers suited for end-member mixing analysis. A comparison between the tracer-based mixing ratios and mixing ratios simulated with a fully-integrated, physically-based flow model showed that models, which are only calibrated against hydraulic heads, cannot reliably reproduce mixing ratios or residence times of alluvial river-aquifer systems. However, the tracer-based mixing ratios allowed the identification of an appropriate flow model parametrization. Consequently, for alluvial systems, we recommend the combination of multitracer studies that cover all relevant residence times with fully-coupled, physically-based flow modeling to better characterize the complex interactions of river-aquifer systems.