SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

Conceptualization and Characterization of Ground-Water Systems Using Geographic Information Systems


The correlation and synthesis of a variety of two- and three-dimensional data is necessary to conceptualize and characterize ground-water flow systems in regional or site-specific areas. This paper presents an integrated, multidisciplinary, step-wise approach for conceptualizing, characterizing, and numerically simulating ground-water flow systems using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

The method presented involves seven iterative steps that can be accomplished manually or by using GIS: 1) Data gathering and preparation; 2) Field (on-site) conceptualization; 3) Surface characterization; 4) Subsurface characterization; 5) Hydrogeologic model characterization; 6) Hydrologic system characterization; and 7) Numerical model simulation. GIS may be used for: 1) data management, analysis, and visualization; 2) the integration of diverse data sources; 3) rapid development, visualization, and testing of alternative hydrogeologic and hydrologic system models; 4) the incorporation of contouring, attribute tables, and statistical analysis during data analysis and model development; and 5) the integration of basic and interpreted data bases with numerical modeling for purposes of model design, parameter discretization, statistical evaluation, and sensitivity analysis.

Author Information

Kolm, KE
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, USA
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 131–145
DOI: 10.1520/STP18262S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5334-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2027-3