A mathematical view of water table fluctuations in a shallow aquifer in Brazil

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2015-03-27

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National Ground Water Association.

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Detailed monitoring of the groundwater table can provide important data about both short- and long-term aquifer processes, including information useful for estimating recharge and facilitating groundwater modeling and remediation efforts. In this paper, we presents results of 4 years (2002 to 2005) of monitoring groundwater water levels in the Rio Claro Aquifer using observation wells drilled at the Rio Claro campus of São Paulo State University in Brazil. The data were used to follow natural periodic fluctuations in the water table, specifically those resulting from earth tides and seasonal recharge cycles. Statistical analyses included methods of time-series analysis using Fourier analysis, cross-correlation, and R/S analysis. Relationships could be established between rainfall and well recovery, as well as the persistence and degree of autocorrelation of the water table variations. We further used numerical solutions of the Richards equation to obtain estimates of the recharge rate and seasonable groundwater fluctuations. Seasonable soil moisture transit times through the vadose zone obtained with the numerical solution were very close to those obtained with the cross-correlation analysis. We also employed a little-used deep drainage boundary condition to obtain estimates of seasonable water table fluctuations, which were found to be consistent with observed transient groundwater levels during the period of study.

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Ground Water, 2015.

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