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Advances in Water Resources 30 (2007) 399407

Simulating groundwater ow to surface water features

with leaky beds using analytic elements
Mark Bakker *

Water Resources Section, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands

Received 17 March 2006; received in revised form 30 May 2006; accepted 1 June 2006
Available online 24 July 2006


A new analytic element approach is presented for simulating the steady-state interaction between groundwater and surface water fea-
tures with leaky beds. Surface water features (lakes, streams or polders) are modeled as semi-conned areas with xed but spatially vary-
ing water levels that are separated from the aquifer by a leaky layer. Each semi-conned area is modeled locally as a two-aquifer system
by adding an additional layer of high transmissivity on top of the aquifer. A theoretical analysis is presented to develop guidelines for the
selection of the transmissivity of the additional layer for modeling applications. The analytic element solution allows for the analytic
computation of head and ow in the aquifer, and of the vertical leakage through the leaky bed. The approach requires a discretization
of the boundary of the surface water feature only. Conditions of continuity of head and normal ow are met exactly at collocation points
on the boundary of each semi-conned area; the comprehensive discharge is continuous everywhere. Results of the analytic element
approach compare well with an exact solution for ow to a circular lake; either the lake level or the net lake ux may be specied. Good
agreement was also obtained with a high-resolution nite-dierence model for a case where the surface water boundary coincides exactly
with the numerical grid. A model of a meandering river with a variable water table is presented as a practical application.
 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Groundwatersurface water interaction; Analytic element method; Leakage

1. Introduction where T [L2/T] is the transmissivity of the aquifer and c [T]

is the resistance to vertical ow of the leaky layer; the leak-
Groundwater ow below shallow lakes and streams is age factor has dimensions of length. It may be shown that
often modeled as semi-conned ow, where the aquifer is for surface water features with a constant head, the vertical
overlain by a surface water feature with a xed water level leakage decreases to 5% of the value on the boundary at a
that is separated from the aquifer by a leaky layer. Accu- distance of 3k from the boundary (e.g. [22, p. 33]).
rate representation of the areal distribution of the vertical When the width W of a river is much smaller than the
leakage through the leaky layer at the bottom of a lake leakage factor (W  k), the leakage varies little across
or stream is necessary when modeling groundwatersurface the river and may often be approximated as uniform. When
water interaction (e.g. [8, p. 217]). The areal distribution of the width W is much larger than the leakage factor
leakage through the leaky layer may be characterized by (W  k), all leakage occurs near the boundaries of the
the leakage factor. The leakage factor k is dened as (e.g. river; for such cases it may be possible to approximate
[8,22]) the head in the aquifer along the boundary as equal to
p the river level, rather than explicitly modeling the semi-con-
k Tc 1
ned ow beneath the river. When the width is on the order
of the leakage factor, the distribution of leakage across the
Tel.: +31 15 2783714. river bed must be modeled explicitly for accurate results. In
E-mail address: numerical models, the vertical ux through a grid cell is

0309-1708/$ - see front matter  2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
400 M. Bakker / Advances in Water Resources 30 (2007) 399407

often constant over the cell (e.g. river cells in MODFLOW

[14]). This means that the cell size should be chosen much water level h*
smaller than the leakage factor, such that the areal varia-
leaky layer
tion of the leakage may be approximated accurately (e.g.
[3,12]). In analytic element models, spatially variable leak- section 2
Qx0 Q
age has been modeled with the multi-quadric area-sink [21]. x0
The leakage for these area-sinks is computed at a number
of points called multi-quadric points, and is interpolated section 1 x section 3
smoothly between these points. Application of multi-quad- d d
ric area-sinks may become impractical as the spacing
between multi-quadric points normal to the boundary Fig. 1. Vertical cross-section of an aquifer with a semi-conned area
(Section 2).
needs to be on the order of the leakage factor (at least
within 3k from the boundary) to approximate the leakage
accurately (e.g. [13]). water level in the lake is constant and equal to h*
Alternatively, lakegroundwater interaction has been (Fig. 1). The ow in the aquifer to the left and right of
modeled by representing the lake as an area of high trans- the lake is Qx0, and thus the net discharge of the lake is zero
missivity (e.g. [23,2]). This idea was applied to analytic (a ow-through lake). The resistance to vertical ow in the
element models by [15,16], who represented lakes in sin- aquifer is neglected (the DupuitForchheimer approxima-
gle-aquifer ow by high-transmissivity inhomogeneities. tion), and the specic discharge in the leaky layer is
In this paper, a resistance is added to the bottom of the approximated as vertical (qz) and is computed as
lake by modeling the eect of the lake on the aquifer with
an additional layer of high transmissivity on top of the qz h  h =c 2
aquifer system. This additional layer is separated from where h is the head in the aquifer. The exact solution to this
the aquifer by a leaky layer. In contrast with the nite- problem may be written in terms of a discharge potential U
dierence model of [2], the additional layer extends only dened as (e.g. [19])
over the area of the lake, and the leakage between the
aquifer and the lake is computed analytically. U Th 3
The objective of this paper is to present a new analytic The discharge vector ~
Q, the vertically integrated horizontal
element approach for modeling steady two-dimensional ow, is obtained from the discharge potential as
ow in aquifers that contain semi-conned regions such
as occur beneath partially penetrating streams and lakes, ~ rU
Q 4
and below polders. The analytic modeling of conned or
The aquifer is divided in three sections (see Fig. 1). In Sec-
unconned aquifers with local areas of semi-conned ow
tions 1 and 3, the discharge potential fullls Laplaces dif-
is complicated as the dierential equation for semi-conned
ferential equation
ow is dierent from the dierential equation for conned
and unconned ow. Each semi-conned area is bounded r2 U 0 5
by a polygon, and within each polygon the xed water level
In Section 2, the governing dierential equation is the mod-
above the aquifer may vary spatially to represent, for
ied-Helmholtz equation
example, a varying water level in a river, or the variation
of xed water levels in polders (e.g. [18]). The resistance r2 U  Th U  Th =k2 6
of the leaky layer separating the surface water from the
where k is the leakage factor (1). The head and x-compo-
aquifer will be approximated as constant within each
nent of the discharge vector are continuous everywhere in
semi-conned area. Rivers with highly heterogeneous chan-
the aquifer. The exact solution consists of separate expres-
nel bend deposits (e.g. [10]) may be modeled with multiple
sions for each section of aquifer and is given by, e.g. [1]
semi-conned areas, each with constant aquifer and leaky
layer properties. The proposed approach requires a discret- U1 Qx0 x d  k tanhd=k Th
ization of the boundary of each semi-conned area only; no U2 Qx0 k sinhx=k= coshd=k Th 7
areal discretization or areal distribution of control points is 
U3 Qx0 x  d k tanhd=k Th
needed to obtain a solution.
where the expression for Ui is valid in section i. It is
2. Methodology straightforward to verify that this solution fullls the dier-
ential equations and the boundary conditions.
The proposed methodology is introduced through a sim- In this paper, it is proposed to approximate the problem
ple example of steady ow in a vertical cross-section. Con- of Fig. 1 by replacing the lake with an additional (ctitious)
sider a horizontal aquifer with transmissivity T. A long layer with a high transmissivity T *, as illustrated in Fig. 2.
lake with constant width 2d is separated from the aquifer As a result, the aquifer consists locally of two layers at the
by a leaky layer with a resistance to vertical ow c; the position of the lake. The main advantages of this approach
M. Bakker / Advances in Water Resources 30 (2007) 399407 401

additional layer with where

high transmissivity T*
b T =T T  13
leaky layer
It may be veried that (12) fullls the dierential equations
section 2 and boundary conditions.
x0 When the transmissivity T * of the additional layer rep-
resenting the lake approaches innity, parameter a
section 1 x section 3 approaches 1, and parameter b approaches zero. Further-
d d more, in the limit for T * approaching innity, the leakage
factor ~k of the approximate problem (10) becomes the leak-
Fig. 2. Approximation of a semi-conned area by an additional layer of age factor of the original problem (1). Hence, the expres-
high transmissivity T *.
sions for Ui of the approximate problem (12) are identical
to the solution of the original problem (7) in the limit for
are threefold: the approach may be extended to obtain T * approaching innity. Also note that the head
accurate analytic element solutions in two-dimensional / U2 =T  in the additional layer representing the lake
DupuitForchheimer ow and multi-aquifer ow; the becomes equal to h* everywhere in Section 2 when T *
water level h* of the surface water may vary spatially approaches innity. In practice, T * should be chosen large,
and, an accurate water budget of the surface water feature for example three-orders of magnitude larger than T. For
may be readily computed. These advantages will be dis- T * = T 103, the values of a and b are a = 0.9990 and
cussed in detail in the next sections, but rst the approxi- b = 0.0009990, which are close enough to 1 and 0 to give
mate problem shown in Fig. 2 will be solved exactly, and accurate results for most practical purposes.
it will be demonstrated that the solution is identical to To assess the accuracy of the approximation further, a
the solution of the problem shown in Fig. 1 (Eq. (7)) when normalized error is dened:
the transmissivity T * of the layer representing the lake e Dhapprox  Dhexact =Dhexact 14
approaches innity.
where Dh is the dierence in head in the aquifer between the
In Fig. 2, ow in Section 2 is governed by two coupled
left and right edge of the lake. Using (7) and (12) and com-
dierential equations
bining terms gives
r2 U /  h=c U =T   U=T =c
8 bd=k a3=2 tanhd=~k  tanhd=k
r U h  /=c U=T  U =T =c   e 15
where / is the head in the additional layer representing the The normalized error is evaluated for three values of T*/T
lake, and U* = T */. The general solution to (8) may be in Fig. 3; some specic values are given in Table 1. It is con-
written as (e.g. [6]) cluded from the gure and table that the error increases
with 2d/k, the width of the lake relative to the leakage fac-
U a1 x a2 T   a3 coshx=~
k  a4 sinhx=~
k tor. When T */T increases by one-order, the error decreases
~ ~
U a1 x a2 T a3 coshx=k a4 sinhx=k by approximately one-order.

where ai are constants and the leakage factor is

p 10
~k acT 10
where 10-1

a T  =T T  11
Boundary conditions are that the head and ow are contin-
uous in the aquifer from section 1 to section 2, and from -3
section 2 to section 3 (See Fig. 2). In addition, the ow in 10

the aquifer is Qx0 on either side of the lake, and the head
at the origin in the additional layer representing the lake 10-4
is set equal to the water level h* of the lake. The exact solu-
tion to this problem is 10-5

U1 Qx0 x ad  a~
k tanhd=~
k Th 

U Q ax ak sinhx=k= coshd=~

2 x0
~ ~ k T  h 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
U2 Qx0 bx  a~
k sinhx=~k= coshd=~
k Th
~ tanhd=k
~ Th Fig. 3. Semi-log plot of normalized error e vs. 2d/k for three values of
U3 Qx0 x  ad ak T */T.
402 M. Bakker / Advances in Water Resources 30 (2007) 399407

Table 1 bounded by a polygon. The head and the component of

Normalized error e (15) for dierent values of 2d/k and T */T ow normal to the boundary are continuous inside the
2d/k T * = T 102 T * = T 103 T * = T 104 aquifer across the boundary (the perimeter) of the semi-
1 7.43 105 7.44 106 7.44 107 conned area.
2 8.85 104 8.87 105 8.88 106 The analytic element method will be applied to model
4 6.44 103 6.48 104 6.48 105 the ow in the aquifer. Aquifer features outside the semi-
10 3.47 102 3.50 103 3.50 104
20 8.42 102 8.49 103 8.50 104
conned areas are modeled with analytic elements for
40 1.83 101 1.85 102 1.85 103 single-aquifer ow, and may include wells, streams and riv-
ers (line-sinks), recharge areas (area-sinks), leaky walls
(line-doublets), and areal inhomogeneities in the aquifer
A similar conclusion was drawn by [2], who performed a properties (bounded by line-doublets); all these and other
numerical study to determine the best ratio of hydraulic elements are described in, e.g. [19,11]. Flow inside a semi-
conductivities to use in the simulation of a high-k lake that conned area, which is approximated as a two-layer
cuts through several model layers. They used a lake that system, is modeled with analytic elements for multi-aquifer
was 600 by 700 m at the surface, with a smaller size in lower ow. The water level in the additional layer of high trans-
layers, and a small resistance of the leaky layer of 0.1 days. missivity will be modeled with multi-aquifer line-sinks [5].
The aquifer thickness was approximately 40 m and the This means that the water level above the semi-conning
hydraulic conductivity 10 m/d so that the leakage factor layer may vary by specifying line-sinks with dierent heads.
was 6.3 m; the cell size was 100 by 100 m, several times The high transmissivity of the additional layer results in a
the leakage factor. They studied the convergence speed near planar head distribution between line-sinks in the
and mass balance error of their MODFLOW model and additional layer. In this fashion, a river with a varying
obtained reasonable results for the water level at the center water level may be modeled, for example.
of the lake when the hydraulic conductivity of the lake was Analytic elements in the model are divided in three
103104 times the hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer. groups:
They obtained small gradients in the water level in the lake
for certain cases, as their lake was more than 100 leakage Analytic elements located outside the semi-conned
factors long. area.
The range of values for d/k in Table 1 represents the Analytic elements located inside the semi-conned area
upper range of values expected for groundwater-stream (including elements to x the water level in the addi-
interaction, and thus Table 1 represents the maximum tional layer of high transmissivity).
errors that may be expected with the presented approach. Analytic elements representing the boundary of the
This may be seen by making use of the results of [1], who semi-conned area.
derived that for straight shallow streams in direct contact
with the aquifer, accurate one-dimensional Dupuit solu- Outside each semi-conned area, the discharge potential
tions are obtained when the leakage factor is chosen equal is governed by Laplaces equation (5), or Poissons equa-
to 0.44 times the thickness of the aquifer (for stream widths tion in the presence of areal recharge. Inside each semi-con-
equal to at least half the aquifer thickness). The result of [1] ned area, the discharge potential is governed by the
is valid for isotropic aquifers; when the vertical hydraulic system of two dierential equations (8). The general solu-
conductivity is smaller than the horizontal hydraulic con- tion for the potentials U* and U inside a semi-conned area
ductivity, the leakage factor will be larger than 0.44 times may be written as (see Appendix)
the aquifer thickness. For streams with a leaky bottom
(and for many lakes), the value of k will be much larger T
than 0.44 times the aquifer thickness, and thus the errors T T
presented in Table 1 represent the upper range of expected T
errors. T T
where F fullls Laplaces equation and G fullls the modi-
3. Analytic element approach ed-Helmholtz equation
The approach presented in the previous section is r2 G G=~k2 17
applied to model two-dimensional, steady DupuitForch-
heimer ow in aquifers containing bounded areas of Note that the comprehensive potential, the sum of the
semi-conned ow. Inside each semi-conned area, an potentials in the two layers, is equal to F. Hence, the com-
additional layer of high transmissivity T * is added on top prehensive ow Q,~ the sum of the ow in the two layers, is
of the aquifer; the additional layer is separated from the equal to minus the gradient of F; the function G does not
aquifer through a leaky layer with a constant resistance c contribute to the comprehensive ow
to vertical ow. The head in the additional layer will be
xed, but may vary spatially. Each semi-conned area is ~ rU  rU rF
Q 18
M. Bakker / Advances in Water Resources 30 (2007) 399407 403

The potential of elements located outside the semi-conned ments used to x the water level in the additional layer of
area fullls Laplaces equation and contributes to the func- high transmissivity; the net discharge is exactly equal to
tion F inside the semi-conned area, which also fullls La- the combined discharge of these elements.
places equation. The potential of elements located inside
the semi-conned area consists of parts F and G (16); only 4. Example 1
part F is valid outside the semi-conned area, since part G
does not fulll Laplaces equation. The objective of the rst example is to compare results
The conditions along the boundary of each semi-con- of the proposed analytic element approach to the exact
ned area are continuity of the head and the component solution for ow to a circular lake in an otherwise uniform
of ow normal to the boundary. These conditions are ow eld. Consider an aquifer with a transmissivity of
met approximately by placing two strings of line elements T = 200 m2/d. A circular lake centered at the origin and
along the boundary of each semi-conned area. First, a with radius R = 500 m has a leaky bottom with resistance
string of line-doublets that fulll Laplaces equation is to vertical ow c. Away from the lake the gradient of the
placed along the boundary (e.g. [19,17]). The potential head is constant and equal to 0.005 in the positive
jumps across a line-doublet, but the component of ow x-direction. The head is xed to 60 m at (x, y) =
normal to the element is continuous across it; the strength (1000, 0), while the head in the lake is 50 m. The exact
of a line-doublet represents the jump in the potential across solution to this problem is given in [4]. The analytic ele-
the element. Line-doublets are generally used to model ment solution is obtained by dividing the boundary of
boundaries of inhomogeneities in the transmissivity in sin- the lake up in 20 segments of equal length. Each segment
gle-aquifer ow [20,19]. As these line-doublets fulll is modeled with a line-doublet and a line-sink of order 2,
Laplaces equation, they contribute to the potential outside as described in the previous section; the vertices of the line
the semi-conned area, and to the function F inside the elements are chosen such that the area inside the polygon is
semi-conned area. Second, a string of line-sinks that fulll equal to the area of the circular lake. The head in the addi-
the modied-Helmholtz equation is placed along the tional layer representing the lake is xed by putting 20
boundary [5]; they contribute to the function G inside the multi-layer head-specied line-sinks inside the lake, right
semi-conned area but do not contribute to the potential on the boundary; these line-sinks have zero-order. The
outside the semi-conned area. The line-sinks have a zero transmissivity of the additional layer representing the lake
comprehensive extraction, and only act to redistribute ow is 1000 times the transmissivity of the aquifer. The problem
between the aquifer and the additional layer of high trans- is solved for two values of c.
missivity inside the semi-conned area. The component of In the rst case, c is chosen to be 500 days, such that the
ow normal to the element jumps across a line-sink, while leakage factor is k = 316 m, and the diameter of the lake is
the potential is continuous; the strength of a line-sink rep- 3.16 times the leakage factor. Head contours for this case
resents the jump in the normal component of ow across are shown in Fig. 4a; contours in the top half (above the
the element. dotted line) represent the analytic element solution, while
The string of line-doublets is chosen to coincide with the contours in the bottom half represent the exact solution.
string of line-sinks. The strength of both the line-doublets The total discharge into the lake of the exact solution is
and the line-sinks are represented by polynomials of degree 3853.9 m3/d (an average of approximately 5 mm/d over
N, and thus each element has N + 1 free coecients. The the entire lake surface). The total discharge into the lake
boundary condition of continuity of head and normal ow for the analytic element solution is obtained by adding
is applied at N + 1 collocation points along each boundary the discharge of the 20 head-specied line-sinks that are
segment, resulting in 2N + 2 linear equations for the screened in the additional layer of high transmissivity; this
2N + 2 free coecients. The collocation points are distrib- total discharge is 3855.9 m3/d, only 0.052% dierent from
uted along each element following the cosine rule, as sug- the exact discharge.
gested by [17, Eq. (35)]. The linear equations are included In the second case, c is chosen to be only 50 days, which
in the solution of the analytic element model (e.g. [19]) results in a leakage factor of 100 m. For this case the diam-
and may be solved using a standard routine for the solution eter of the lake is 10 times the leakage factor such that the
of linear equations. Through the proposed procedure, the head in the aquifer approaches the head in the lake in the
boundary conditions of continuity of head and normal ow center part of the lake. Contours for this case are shown
are met exactly at the collocation points and approximately in Fig. 4b. The discharge into the lake is 7952.6 m3/d for
between them. The boundary condition will be met accu- the exact solution and 7958.8 m3/d for the analytic element
rately when reasonable choices are made for the length of solution, a dierence of 0.078%.
the elements and polynomial order of the strengths; exam- For a third case, the total discharge of the lake is spec-
ples are given in the next sections. It is noted that the over- ied rather than the water level in the lake; the total dis-
all water balance is met exactly. Neither the line-doublets charge is specied as 5000 m3/d. For this case, the 20
nor the line-sinks that are used to represent the boundary head-specied line-sinks that x the head in the additional
of the semi-conned area have a net discharge. The net dis- layer with high transmissivity are replaced with 20 line-
charge of the semi-conned area is regulated by the ele- sinks of unknown but equal head; the combined discharge
404 M. Bakker / Advances in Water Resources 30 (2007) 399407






-500 -50 50 1000

Fig. 5. Comparison of analytic element solution (lower-left half) with a

AEM high-resolution MODFLOW solution (upper-right half) for ow to a
canal. Contour interval is 1 m.


the nite-dierence grid (i.e., the surface water boundary

coincides exactly with the numerical grid).
Consider a canal consisting of two perpendicular sec-
tions of 900 m long and 100 m wide (Fig. 5). The canal is
separated from the underlying aquifer by a leaky layer with
resistance to vertical ow c = 80 days; the water level in the
canal is 50 m. The transmissivity of the aquifer is approxi-
mated as T = 20 m2/d so that the leakage factor under the
canal is k = 40 m and the width of the canal is 2.5 times the
leakage factor. As the solution will be compared to a nite
b dierence solution, a closed boundary of 1500 m by 1500 m
is specied around the model. The inow along the bound-
Fig. 4. Comparison between the exact and analytic element solutions for a
circular lake with radius R = 500 m in a uniform ow. Upper half of each ary is specied to be 0.2 m2/d.
gure is analytic element solution, lower half is exact solution. (a) In the analytic element model, each long side of the
k = 316 m, h* = 50 m, (b) k = 100 m, h* = 50 m; contour interval is 1 m. canal is represented by eight line segments of equal length,
while the two short sides are divided in two line segments.
Each line segment is modeled with a line-sink and a line-
of the 20 line-sinks is specied to be 5000 m3/d. The value doublet of order 3, except for the four segments that come
of c is chosen to be 50 days, as in the previous case. The together in the two corners near the origin, which are mod-
computed water level in the lake for the exact solution is eled with line elements of order 8 to allow for greater var-
h* = 52.155 m, and is very close to the computed water iation of the ow eld near the corner. The head in the
level for the analytic element solution, which is h* = canal is xed with constant-strength head-specied line-
52.158 m. sinks placed on the edge of the canal in the additional layer
with high transmissivity; the line-sinks are order zero and
5. Example 2 have the same lengths as the line-elements used to model
the boundary. The transmissivity of the additional layer
The objective of the second example is twofold. First, of high transmissivity is 100 times the transmissivity of
the capabilities to model a surface water feature with a the aquifer. The inow along the boundary of the model
non-smooth boundary is assessed. Second, the capabilities is simulated with line-sinks.
to model the interaction of a pumping well with such a fea- The results of the analytic element model are compared
ture will be demonstrated, including the capabilities to gen- to results of a high-resolution MODFLOW model [14].
erate three-dimensional path lines. The geometry of the The cell size is 10 by 10 m over the entire model; an addi-
problem is chosen to facilitate comparison with the results tional layer of cells with a width of 1 m needed to be added
of a nite-dierence model without introducing any error around the perimeter of the model to meet the inow
due to a mismatch between the surface water feature and accurately along the boundary. The canal is modeled with
M. Bakker / Advances in Water Resources 30 (2007) 399407 405

general head boundary (GHB) cells; there are 10 cells started at the well at dierent heights and traced against the
across the canal, so that the leakage should be approxi- ow; the highest path line originates at the canal. The two
mated accurately (e.g. [3,16]). A comparison of the analytic dashed lines represent path lines that were started at higher
element model and the MODFLOW model is shown in elevations on the opposite side of the canal; these path lines
Fig. 5. The model is symmetric across the line y = x end at the canal.
(the dotted line in the gure); the results of the analytic ele-
ment model are shown in the lower-left half of the gure, 6. Example 3
and the MODFLOW results in the upper-right half. The
results are very similar. The objective of the nal example is to demonstrate that
Next, a pumping well is added at (x, y) = (200, 200) the proposed analytic element approach can be used to
with a discharge of 200 m3/d. Head contours of the analytic model ow to a meandering river with a variable water
element model near the well are shown in the upper part of level. Between x = 500 and x = 500, the centerline of
Fig. 6 (solid lines). The heavy solid line represents the 50 m the river is approximated by the function 250 sin(500 x/p)
contour line, which is equal to the water level in the canal. and is 60 m wide (Fig. 7). Beyond x = 500 and x = 500
Inside this contour the head in the aquifer is smaller than the river is straight for an additional section of 930 m (only
the water level in the canal, and water will inltrate from partly shown in Fig. 7). The aquifer and leaky layer prop-
the canal into the aquifer. Twenty path lines are started erties are the same as in the previous example and thus the
from the well and traced against the ow direction (dashed leakage factor is k = 40 m, and the river is 1.5k wide. The
lines in upper part of Fig. 6); all path lines are started in the water level in the stream varies approximately linearly
middle of the aquifer. The well clearly draws water from along the centerline of the stream with a gradient of
the other side of the canal. A projection of the heavy 0.005; the water level at the origin is 59.47 m. The head
dashed path line on the vertical x, z plane is shown in the in the aquifer is xed at (x, y) = (0, 1000) to 70 m.
bottom part of Fig. 6 (heavy line). The vertical plane con- The boundary of the stream is divided in straight seg-
tains several additional path lines along the same horizon- ments of which the projection in the x-direction is 50 m
tal trajectory. The four thin solid lines represent path lines long in the center (curved) section of the stream and
100 m long in the sections to the left and right of the curved
section. Each segment is modeled with a line-sink and a
200 line-doublet of order 5. The water level in the river is mod-
eled by specifying a string of head-specied line-sinks along
the centerline of the river in the additional layer of high
transmissivity, rather than on the edge, as was done in
50 the previous examples; it will be shown that this still results
in a constant water level across the stream, while using
h=50 fewer elements. The model consists of 160 elements with
a total of 800 unknown parameters. Head contours in the
aquifer are shown in Fig. 7. Contours of the water level
in the river are shown with the short dotted lines; they
are virtually straight across the width of the river.




0 56
-200 -50 50 200 400

Fig. 6. Interaction between a well and the canal of Example 2. Top part -400
-600 600
are head contours with contour interval 0.5 m (solid), and path lines to the
well (dashed). Heavy solid line in bottom part is projection on vertical Fig. 7. Head contours (solid) and river level contours (dotted) for
plane along heavy dashed path line in top part. Bottom part contains groundwater ow to a meandering river. Detailed contours in rectangular
several additional path lines along same horizontal trajectory. area are shown in Fig. 8.
406 M. Bakker / Advances in Water Resources 30 (2007) 399407

-150 exact solution for uniform ow to a circular lake, and with

a high-resolution nite-dierence model of a canal consist-
ing of two straight segments that make a 90 degree angle.
Furthermore, it was shown that both lakes with a specied
61.5 water level and with a specied net lake ux may be mod-
eled. The nal example demonstrated that a meandering
river with a varying water level may be modeled accurately.
Outside the semi-conned areas, ow was modeled as
61.5 62.4 conned, but the formulation may easily be extended to
-300 model unconned ow. The discharge potential for semi-
100 400
conned ow also fullls Laplaces equation (e.g. [19]),
but the boundary condition of continuity of head across
the boundary of the semi-conned areas becomes non-lin-
ear in terms of the discharge potential; the solution of these
4 non-linear equations requires an iterative solution proce-
4 dure (e.g. [19, p. 413]).
The presented approach used a transmissivity below the
surface water feature that was the same as in the adjacent
aquifer, but that is not a limitation of the approach. A dif-
ferent transmissivity may be specied below the surface
-300 water feature. This may be useful, for example, when the
100 400
surface water penetrates a signicant portion of the aquifer
Fig. 8. Top part: Head contours (solid) and river level contours (dotted)
(e.g. [9]). Anderson [1] proposed to specify a dierent trans-
of rectangular area shown in Fig. 7, with levels in meters. Bottom part:
contours of upward leakage with levels in mm/d. missivity below a stream in direct contact with the aquifer
to negate errors introduced by adoption of the Dupuit
Forchheimer approximation. The approach also approxi-
The leakage through the canal bottom is evaluated in mates the resistance of the leaky layer at the bottom of
the bottom part of the meander in the lower right-hand the surface water feature as constant; variable bed resis-
corner (the dashed rectangular box in Fig. 7). Groundwater tance may be modeled as piece-wise constant, using multi-
head and river level contours in this area are shown in the ple semi-conned areas.
top part of Fig. 8. The distribution of upward leakage The presented approach is limited to the case where
through the bottom of the river is computed with equation there is a hydraulic connection between the aquifer and
(2). In the section of river shown, the upward leakage var- the surface water feature over the entire area of the feature.
ies from a low of 2.6 mm/d to a high of 10.6 mm/d; con- When the head in the aquifer drops below the bottom of
tours of the leakage are shown in the bottom part of Fig. the surface water feature, for example due to heavy pump-
8, illustrating the distribution of leakage across the river. ing, the equation for the leakage (2) does not depend any-
more on the head in the aquifer, but becomes constant.
7. Summary and discussion This means that the discharge potential fullls Poisons
equation rather than the modied-Helmholtz equation.
A new analytic element approach was presented for Such cases require the development of an iterative proce-
modeling groundwater ow in aquifers with local semi- dure to delineate the area in which the aquifer is not con-
conned areas representing lakes, streams, or polders. nected hydraulically to the surface water. Flow in this
The approach is approximate in two ways: inside each area may be modeled with the same analytic elements as
semi-conned area an additional layer of high transmissiv- outside the semi-conned area.
ity is specied on top of the aquifer to represent the surface The presented approach may be extended to model
water feature, and the boundary condition of continuity of multi-aquifer systems that are bounded on top by a semi-
head and normal ow is met approximately along the conned area. The solution to such problems forms a com-
boundary of the semi-conned area; continuity of compre- bination of the approach presented in this paper and the
hensive ow is met exactly everywhere. A theoretical anal- analytic element approach for modeling polygonal inho-
ysis of ow in a cross-section showed that the former mogeneities in multi-aquifer systems presented by [7].
approximation gives accurate results when the transmissiv-
ity of the additional layer is taken as 100 times the trans- Acknowledgements
missivity of the aquifer when the width of the surface
water feature is less than 10 times the leakage factor. For This research was funded in part by the US EPA Eco-
larger surface water features, a larger transmissivity of logical Research Division and was carried out in collabora-
the additional layer should be used (see Table 1). Results tion with WHPA, Bloomington, IN. The author is on
of the analytic element approach compare well with the sabbatical from the Department of Biological and Agricul-
M. Bakker / Advances in Water Resources 30 (2007) 399407 407

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