Get access

Regional Flow and Deformation Analysis of Basin-Fill Aquifer Systems Using Stress-Dependent Parameters



Changes in effective stress due to water pressure variations modify the intrinsic hydrodynamic properties of aquifers and aquitards. Overexploited groundwater systems, such as basins with heavy pumping, are subject to nonrecoverable modifications. This results in loss of permeability, porosity, and specific storage due to system consolidation. This paper presents (1) the analytical development of model functions relating effective stress to hydrodynamic parameters for aquifers and aquitards constituted of unconsolidated granular sediments, and (2) a modeling approach for the analysis of aquifer systems affected by effective stress variations, taking into account the aforementioned dependency. The stress-dependent functions were fit to laboratory data, and used in the suggested modeling approach. Based on only few unknowns, this approach is computationally simple, efficiently captures the hydromechanical processes that are active in regional aquifer systems under stress, and readily provides an estimate of their consolidation.

Get access to the full text of this article