Integrating Groundwater Observations with Models of Soil-Water Dynamics to Examine Recharge Patterns through Glacial Sediments in a Humid Continental Climate

dc.contributor.authorNaylor, Shawn
dc.contributor.authorLetsinger, S.L.
dc.contributor.authorFicklin, D.L.
dc.contributor.authorEllett, K.M.
dc.contributor.authorOlyphant, G.A.
dc.descriptionPoster presented at American Geophysical Union meeting in 2015.en
dc.description.abstractUnderstanding the timing and magnitude of shallow groundwater recharge is critical for determining water balance and analyzing aquifer sensitivity for water resource planning. We analyzed data from six hydrometeorological monitoring stations using HYDRUS 1D to achieve physically based estimates of water-table recharge in various glaciated terrains in Indiana (USA). The models simulated runoff, root-water uptake, and flow through heterogeneous soil profiles to quantify water flux at the water table. Calibration by inverse modeling of data collected in 2013 yielded optimized hydraulic parameters that allowed accurate simulation of observed soil moisture (RMSE generally within 3%). The model validation period confirmed accurate simulation of soil moisture as well as correspondence between modeled recharge and observed water-table fluctuations. Additional modelling over a three-year study period indicated that diffuse water-table recharge in the region can be reasonably approximated as 35% of precipitation, but interannual and monthly variability can be significant depending on the glacial setting and pedological development. Soil parent material and horizon characteristics have a strong influence on average annual recharge primarily through their control on Ks, with clay-rich till parent materials producing values as low as 16% and coarse-grained outwash parent materials producing values as high as 58% of precipitation. The combined modelling and monitoring data reveal distinct seasonality of recharge, with most recharge occurring in the winter (seasonal mean of all sites was 66% of precipitation) and lesser but interannually stable amounts in the spring (44%), summer (13%), and autumn (16%). This ongoing research underscores the value of combining vadose zone characterization with hydrometeorological monitoring to more effectively represent how surface energy and moisture budgets influence the dynamics of surface water-groundwater interactions.en
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 543 Howard Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.en
dc.subjectvadose zoneen
dc.subjectgroundwater rechargeen
dc.subjectglacial sedimentsen
dc.subjectsoil parent materialen
dc.titleIntegrating Groundwater Observations with Models of Soil-Water Dynamics to Examine Recharge Patterns through Glacial Sediments in a Humid Continental Climateen
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poster presented at American Geophysical Uniion meeting 2015
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