Quantification of the specific yield in a two-layer hard-rock aquifer model

Abstract : Hard Rock Aquifers (HRA) have long been considered to be two-layer systems, with a mostly capacitive layer just below the surface, the saprolite layer and a mainly transmissive layer underneath, the fractured layer. Although this hydrogeological conceptual model is widely accepted today within the scientific community, it is difficult to quantify the respective storage properties of each layer with an equivalent porous medium model. Based on an HRA field site, this paper attempts to quantify in a distinct manner the respective values of the specific yield (Sy) in the saprolite and the fractured layer, with the help of a deterministic hydrogeological model. The study site is the Plancoët migmatitic aquifer located in north-western Brittany, France, with piezometric data from 36 observation wells surveyed every two weeks for eight years. Whereas most of the piezometers (26) are located where the water table lies within the saprolite, thus representing the specific yield of the unconfined layer (Sy1), 10 of them are representative of the unconfined fractured layer (Sy2), due to their position where the saprolite is eroded or unsaturated. The two-layer model, based on field observations of the layer geometry, runs with the MODFLOW code. 81 values of the Sy1/Sy2 parameter sets were tested manually, as an inverse calibration was not able to calibrate these parameters. In order to calibrate the storage properties, a new quality-of-fit criterion called “AdVar” was also developed, equal to the mean squared deviation of the seasonal piezometric amplitude variation. Contrary to the variance, AdVar is able to select the best values for the specific yield in each layer. It is demonstrated that the saprolite layer is about 2.5 times more capacitive than the fractured layer, with Sy1=10% (7%
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Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2017, 551, pp.328-339. 〈10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.05.013〉
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Véronique Durand, Véronique Léonardi, Ghislain De Marsily, Patrick Lachassagne. Quantification of the specific yield in a two-layer hard-rock aquifer model. Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2017, 551, pp.328-339. 〈10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.05.013〉. 〈hal-01537837〉

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