Hydraulic conductivity fields: Gaussian or not?
Article first published online: 5 AUG 2013
©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Water Resources Research
Volume 49, Issue 8, pages 4730–4737, August 2013
How to Cite
2013), Hydraulic conductivity fields: Gaussian or not?, Water Resour. Res., 49, 4730–4737, doi:10.1002/wrcr.20376., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 23 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 5 AUG 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 24 JUN 2013 10:27PM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 7 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 5 JAN 2013
- NSF . Grant Numbers: DMS-1025486 , DMS-0803360 , EAR-0738938 , EAR-0738955
- NIH . Grant Number: R01-EB012079
- PRF . Grant Number: 48515-G8
- hydraulic conductivity;
- ground-penetrating radar;
 Hydraulic conductivity (K) fields are used to parameterize groundwater flow and transport models. Numerical simulations require a detailed representation of the K field, synthesized to interpolate between available data. Several recent studies introduced high-resolution K data (HRK) at the Macro Dispersion Experiment (MADE) site, and used ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to delineate the main structural features of the aquifer. This paper describes a statistical analysis of these data, and the implications for K field modeling in alluvial aquifers. Two striking observations have emerged from this analysis. The first is that a simple fractional difference filter can have a profound effect on data histograms, organizing non-Gaussian ln K data into a coherent distribution. The second is that using GPR facies allows us to reproduce the significantly non-Gaussian shape seen in real HRK data profiles, using a simulated Gaussian ln K field in each facies. This illuminates a current controversy in the literature, between those who favor Gaussian ln K models, and those who observe non-Gaussian ln K fields. Both camps are correct, but at different scales.