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T-COMP — A suite of programs for extracting transmissivity from MODFLOW models

February 12, 2016

Simulated transmissivities are constrained poorly by assigning permissible ranges of hydraulic conductivities from aquifer-test results to hydrogeologic units in groundwater-flow models. These wide ranges are derived from interpretations of many aquifer tests that are categorized by hydrogeologic unit. Uncertainty is added where contributing thicknesses differ between field estimates and numerical models. Wide ranges of hydraulic conductivities and discordant thicknesses result in simulated transmissivities that frequently are much greater than aquifer-test results. Multiple orders of magnitude differences frequently occur between simulated and observed transmissivities where observed transmissivities are less than 1,000 feet squared per day.

Transmissivity observations from individual aquifer tests can constrain model calibration as head and flow observations do. This approach is superior to diluting aquifer-test results into generalized ranges of hydraulic conductivities. Observed and simulated transmissivities can be compared directly with T-COMP, a suite of three FORTRAN programs. Transmissivity observations require that simulated hydraulic conductivities and thicknesses in the volume investigated by an aquifer test be extracted and integrated into a simulated transmissivity. Transmissivities of MODFLOW model cells are sampled within the volume affected by an aquifer test as defined by a well-specific, radial-flow model of each aquifer test. Sampled transmissivities of model cells are averaged within a layer and summed across layers. Accuracy of the approach was tested with hypothetical, multiple-aquifer models where specified transmissivities ranged between 250 and 20,000 feet squared per day. More than 90 percent of simulated transmissivities were within a factor of 2 of specified transmissivities.

Publication Year 2016
Title T-COMP — A suite of programs for extracting transmissivity from MODFLOW models
DOI 10.3133/tm6A54
Authors Keith J. Halford
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Techniques and Methods
Series Number 6-A54
Index ID tm6A54
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Nevada Water Science Center