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Groundwater Recharge Modelling using Low-Cost Measurement Technique

Hartmut Holländer1, Kibreab Assefa1, Zijian Wang1, Allen Woodbury1
1 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Manitoba

O 3.6 in Von der Atmosphäre zum Grundwasser - die Hydrologie der vadosen Zone

29.05.2014, 12:00-12:20, H19, NW II

Recharge is a major factor in water budget analysis and for nutrient leaching. The increasing demand by agriculture and the potential impact of fertilizer use on the groundwater quantity and quality are general problems which have to be dealt with under actual and future climate conditions. The vast and often remote country sides in Canada and the requirement in certain predictions in regard to water quantity and quality issues requests innovative and low-cost technology to derive valuable prediction for all kind of stakeholders.

We equipped a standard remote-sensor weather station (HOBOTM weather station) with moisture sensors (FDR, frequency domain reflectometry) and soil temperature sensors at three depths (up to 100 cm) and installed them in three different locations in southern British Columbia, Canada. Two locations (Abbotsford, the valley bottom of the Deep Creek watershed, Okanagan Valley) represent intensively used agricultural areas and one weather station was installed in the origin of the Deep Creek watershed which is mainly used by forestry (Silver Star Mountain in the Okanagan Valley).

We used physical-based vadose modelling using HYDRUS-1D (Šimůnek et al., 2008) with soil data which we derived a) from undistributed soil samples from the field sites and b) from upscaled soil data published by Environment Canada (Neilson et al., 2010). We were able to calibrate the models very well versus soil moisture and temperature as well from the soil samples and also from the upscaled field data. The estimated recharge on long-term simulations using climate data from Environment Canada correspond highly with other studies. E.g., an average recharge from 1984 to 2010 was estimated at 881 mm/year for the Abbotsford site while Scibek & Allen (2005) predicted less than 3% less recharge in that area.

The developed method on recharge estimation is capable to produce reasonable recharge prediction on any temporal resolution. The method is cost-effective in terms of purchasing and maintaining the remote sensor weather stations including FDRs and efficient in predicting recharge. Finally, we were able to apply the method on regional groundwater modelling in the Deep Creek watershed by linking groundwater and surface water using derived local recharge data as input for the regional recharge estimates (Assefa and Woodbury, 2013).



Assefa, K. A., and Woodbury, A. D., 2013. Transient, spatially varied groundwater recharge modeling, Water Resources Research, 49, 4593-4606, 10.1002/wrcr.20332.

Neilsen D., Duke G., Taylor W., Byrne J., Kienzle S., and van der Gulik T., 2010. Development and Verification of Daily Gridded Climate Surfaces in the Okanagan Basin of British Columbia. Canadian Water Resources Journal 35 (2), 131–154.

Scibek, J., and Allen, D. M., 2006. Modeled impacts of predicted climate change on recharge and groundwater levels. Water Resources Research 42(11): W11405.

Šimůnek, J., van Genuchten, M. T., and Šejna, M., 2008. Hydrus-1D software package for simulating the one-dimensional movement of water, heat, and multiple solutes in variably-saturated media, Version 4.0. Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California Riverside, Riverside, California, USA.



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Letzte Änderung 01.11.2013