Groundwater vulnerability assessment using process-based models
Sammanfattning: The focus of this thesis is on groundwater vulnerability assessment by process-based simulation models and data acquisition for these assessments. A modelling system for intrinsic groundwater vulnerability assessment in water supply areas was developed, consisting of flow- and transport models for the unsaturated zone and the groundwater zone, coupled to a geographical informa-tion system. The system was applied to a water supply area located close to a major road south of Stockholm. Chloride was used as an indicator in determining the vulnerability for groundwater contamination from the road. The approach was useful to illustrate the dynamic change of chlo-ride concentrations both during the stage of continuous application and after the applications was terminated. A structure and content of a database for flow and transport modelling, based on hydrogeological environments, was outlined. An existing hydrogeological parameter database, HPAR at the Geological Survey of Sweden (SGU), was examined as a potential source of data for the new database. Values for some important parameters needed for groundwater modelling, such as hydraulic conductivity and effective porosity, were lacking in the three municipal HPAR databases that were studied. It was suggested that these data should be added, together with information on the hydrogeological environments, for all geographical positions of interest. Without such minimum information, the efficient use of modelling tools could not be expected.Typical profiles of three common Swedish hydrogeological environments (sand deposits, glacial till and clay covered areas) were used to represent generic input data to model simulations in the unsaturated zone so that the importance of soil, vegetation type and groundwater levels on turn-over times of conservative contaminants transported by natural recharge could be examined. The same profiles were used to predict the penetration depth of accidental liquid spills that occur at the land surface level. In the case of contaminant transport by natural recharge, water storage in the soil profile and vegetation type played an important role for turnover times. For liquid spills, the hydraulic con-ductivity was found to be of major importance, while the water retention properties were of less importance. Modelling, together with available data sources, were successfully used to demon-strate the vulnerability of different environmental conditions.
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