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Keywords:

  • data assimilation;
  • groundwater modeling;
  • multiple-point geostatistics;
  • parameter estimation;
  • uncertainty reduction

[1] Uncertainty in model predictions is caused to a large extent by the uncertainty in model parameters, while the identification of model parameters is demanding because of the inherent heterogeneity of the aquifer. A variety of inverse methods has been proposed for parameter identification. In this paper we present a novel inverse method to constrain the model parameters (hydraulic conductivities) to the observed state data (hydraulic heads). In the method proposed we build a conditioning pattern consisting of simulated model parameters and observed flow data. The unknown parameter values are simulated by pattern searching through an ensemble of realizations rather than optimizing an objective function. The model parameters do not necessarily follow a multi-Gaussian distribution, and the nonlinear relationship between the parameter and the response is captured by the multipoint pattern matching. The algorithm is evaluated in two synthetic bimodal aquifers. The proposed method is able to reproduce the main structure of the reference fields, and the performance of the updated model in predicting flow and transport is improved compared with that of the prior model.