Prediction and Sensitivity of Recharges Due to Rainfall

by Sampath K. R. Danda, Stevens Inst of Technology, Hoboken, United States,
Lakshmi N. Reddi, Stevens Inst of Technology, Hoboken, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions


This paper evaluates two models for predicting recharges due to rainfall: i) a simple mass balance model, and ii) a numerical model using the commercial software, UNSAT1. The models differ broadly in their assumptions and in their conceptualization of unsaturated flow. Application of the two models to hypothetical unsaturated domains indicated that for homogeneous soil conditions in the unsaturated zone, the mass balance model predicts recharges comparable to those obtained using UNSAT1. A sensitivity analysis was conducted to identify the effect of moving water table on recharge estimates. Errors involved in the assumption of a fixed water table were determined as a function of the hydrogeological parameters. The results from this study will aid in determining the hydrogeological conditions where it is essential to couple the unsaturated flow models with saturated flow or drainage models.

Subject Headings: Unsaturated flow | Rainfall | Water resources | Sensitivity analysis | Computer software | Hydrologic models | Water table | Groundwater management

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