A Coupled Surface-Water and Ground-Water Model

by Eric D. Swain, U.S. Geological Survey, Miami, United States,
Eliezer J. Wexler, U.S. Geological Survey, Miami, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Irrigation and Drainage


In areas with dynamic and hydraulically well connected ground-water and surface-water systems, it is desirable that stream-aquifer interaction be simulated with models of equal sophistication and accuracy. Accordingly, a new, coupled ground-water and surface-water model was developed by combining the U.S. Geological Survey models MODFLOW and BRANCH. MODFLOW is the widely used modular three-dimensional, finite-difference, ground-water model and BRANCH is a one-dimensional numerical model commonly used to simulate flow in open-channel networks. Because time steps used in ground-water modeling commonly are much longer than those used in surface-water simulations, provision has been made for handling multiple BRANCH time steps within one MODFLOW time step. Verification testing of the coupled model was done using data from previous studies and by comparing results with output from a simpler four-point implicit open-channel flow model linked with MODFLOW.

Subject Headings: Hydraulic models | Numerical models | Model accuracy | Coupling | Surface water | Groundwater | Terrain models | Hydrologic models

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