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Accounting for Aquifer Heterogeneity from Geological Data to Management Tools


Corresponding author: Département des Sciences de la Terre, INRS-ETE, 490 rue de la Couronne, Québec, Qc, Canada, G1K 9A9; (1)418 575 8047; fax (1) 418 564 2525;


A nested workflow of multiple-point geostatistics (MPG) and sequential Gaussian simulation (SGS) was tested on a study area of 6 km2 located about 20 km northwest of Quebec City, Canada. In order to assess its geological and hydrogeological parameter heterogeneity and to provide tools to evaluate uncertainties in aquifer management, direct and indirect field measurements are used as inputs in the geostatistical simulations to reproduce large and small-scale heterogeneities. To do so, the lithological information is first associated to equivalent hydrogeological facies (hydrofacies) according to hydraulic properties measured at several wells. Then, heterogeneous hydrofacies (HF) realizations are generated using a prior geological model as training image (TI) with the MPG algorithm. The hydraulic conductivity (K) heterogeneity modeling within each HF is finally computed using SGS algorithm. Different K models are integrated in a finite-element hydrogeological model to calculate multiple transport simulations. Different scenarios exhibit variations in mass transport path and dispersion associated with the large- and small-scale heterogeneity respectively. Three-dimensional maps showing the probability of overpassing different thresholds are presented as examples of management tools.