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A regional groundwater flow model has been developed to be used as a management tool for the Albuquerque Basin. It is crucial to recognize the impact of the inherent uncertainty in aquifer hydrogeology when applying the model, and an understanding of the effects of uncertainty can be accomplished using a probabilistic approach to address the role of natural variability of aquifer properties on management strategies.
Statistical analysis shows that the hydraulic conductivity data is moderately skewed to the right, but is not lognormal. Geostatistical analysis revealed zonal anisotropy oriented due north-south, which is directly related to the flow direction of the ancestral Rio Grande which laid down the Upper Santa Fe Group deposits. The presence of multiple depositional environments within the Upper Santa Fe Group violates the assumption of stationarity. This can be circumvented by choosing the simulation search radius so that local stationarity holds, or by separating the basin into two portions to be simulated separately and then combined for flow model analysis.
Albuquerque Basin, geostatistics, uncertainty, ground-water flow
Project Hydrogeologist, INTERA Inc., Albuquerque, NM