Faculté des sciences

Groundwater age, life expectancy and transit time distributions in advective–dispersive systems ; 2. Reservoir theory for sub-drainage basins

Cornaton, Fabien ; Perrochet, Pierre

In: Advances in Water Resources, 2006, vol. 29, no. 9, p. 1292-1305

Groundwater age and life expectancy probability density functions (pdf) have been defined, and solved in a general three-dimensional context by means of forward and backward advection–dispersion equations [Cornaton F, Perrochet P. Groundwater age, life expectancy and transit time distributions in advective–dispersive systems; 1. Generalized reservoir theory. Adv Water Res (xxxx)]. The... More

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    Summary
    Groundwater age and life expectancy probability density functions (pdf) have been defined, and solved in a general three-dimensional context by means of forward and backward advection–dispersion equations [Cornaton F, Perrochet P. Groundwater age, life expectancy and transit time distributions in advective–dispersive systems; 1. Generalized reservoir theory. Adv Water Res (xxxx)]. The discharge and recharge zones transit time pdfs were then derived by applying the reservoir theory (RT) to the global system, thus considering as ensemble the union of all inlet boundaries on one hand, and the union of all outlet boundaries on the other hand. The main advantages in using the RT to calculate the transit time pdf is that the outlet boundary geometry does not represent a computational limiting factor (e.g. outlets of small sizes), since the methodology is based on the integration over the entire domain of each age, or life expectancy, occurrence. In the present paper, we extend the applicability of the RT to sub-drainage basins of groundwater reservoirs by treating the reservoir flow systems as compartments which transfer the water fluxes to a particular discharge zone, and inside which mixing and dispersion processes can take place. Drainage basins are defined by the field of probability of exit at outlet. In this way, we make the RT applicable to each sub-drainage system of an aquifer of arbitrary complexity and configuration. The case of the well-head protection problem is taken as illustrative example, and sensitivity analysis of the effect of pore velocity variations on the simulated ages is carried out.