Hydrology and Land Surface Studies
Effect of exponential decay in hydraulic conductivity with depth on regional groundwater flow
Article first published online: 19 DEC 2009
Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 36, Issue 24, December 2009
How to Cite
2009), Effect of exponential decay in hydraulic conductivity with depth on regional groundwater flow, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L24402, doi:10.1029/2009GL041251., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 19 DEC 2009
- Article first published online: 19 DEC 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Revised: 17 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Received: 4 OCT 2009
- regional groundwater flow;
- hydraulic conductivity;
 Regional groundwater flow is critical for understanding a variety of geologic processes. Unfortunately, few studies have considered the impact of gradual decrease in hydraulic conductivity (K) with depth on groundwater flow. In this study, regional groundwater flow through a basin is analyzed under conditions of exponentially decaying K with depth. We found that the development of local versus regional flow systems is sensitive to the decay exponent of K. With higher rates of decrease in K with depth, the penetration depth of local flow systems increases, the regional flow weakens, the amount of recharge decreases, and less water reaches the regional discharge zone. Therefore, the depth decay of K should not be neglected when analyzing hydrologic problems related to regional groundwater flow.