Density-dependent Circulation in Desert-basin Aquifers with Isotropic Self-Similar Permeability Distributions

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by Gilberto E. Urroz, (A.M.ASCE), Utah State Univ, Logan, United States,
Daoqiong Yang, Utah State Univ, Logan, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering:

Abstract: Closed-basin aquifers, typical of mountain chains in the western United States, present a central ephemeral lake (called `playa') where evaporation increases the local brine density creating a density-driven recirculation zone immediately below. A finite difference model for steady state, density-dependent groundwater circulation in a closed, desert-basin aquifer was developed. The aquifer's log-permeability was assumed to follow a random, isotropic, self-similar (fractal) distribution while properties as porosity, longitudinal and transverse dispersion and molecular diffusion coefficients were kept constant. Recharge into the aquifer occurred in its upstream boundary with the recharge distribution given by an incomplete beta function. The analysis of the numerical simulations provided relationships between the salt nose length and the fractal co-dimension of log-permeability.

Subject Headings: Aquifers | Isotropy | Arid lands | Salt water | Hydrologic models | Numerical models | Fractals | Water circulation | Permeability (soil) | Density currents | North America | United States

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