Evaluating predictive uncertainty changes by including anthropogenic gadolinium during model calibration

Katarina Mihajlović1, Philipp Höhn1, Thilo Hofmann1
1 University of Vienna, Centre for Microbiology and Environmental Systems Science, Department of Environmental Geosciences

14.7 in Young Hydrogeologists Forum

25.03.2020, 16:45-17:00, Telemann-Saal

Alluvial aquifers represent important drinking and irrigation water resources throughout the world and, as such, require sustainable management [1][2][3][4]. Due to the high heterogeneity of the hydraulic properties of alluvial aquifers, generating representative groundwater models to assist management is challenging. Groundwater models are generally calibrated against hydraulic heads, but these classical observations provide only limited information to the calibration process, resulting in models with non-unique parameters and higher predictive uncertainties. Unconventional observation types, i.e. independent parameters like anthropogenic gadolinium (Gdanth), have been included as additional targets to calibrate groundwater models and yield lower predictive uncertainties [5]. Gdanth is a non-reactive and conservative tracer used to investigate river-aquifer interactions [6], but its application in groundwater model calibration is yet to be tested. Based on its physicochemical properties, using observations of Gdanth concentrations as additional calibration targets might reduce predictive uncertainties of models and will be presented at the conference.

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[6]    Brünjes, R., Bichler, A., Hoehn, P., Lange, F.T., Brauch, H.J. & Hofmann, T. (2016): Anthropogenic gadolinium as a transient tracer for investigating river bank filtration. –In: Sci. Total Environ., 571: 1432–1440.

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