Modeling of shallow aquifers in interaction with surface waters

Abstract : We present a class of new efficient models for water flow in shallow unconfined aquifers, giving an alternative to the classical but less tractable 3D-Richards model. Its derivation is guided by two ambitions : any new model should be low cost in computational time and should still give relevant results at every time scale.We thus keep track of two types of flow occurring in such a context and which are dominant when the ratio thickness over longitudinal length is small : the first one is dominant in a small time scale and is described by a vertical 1D-Richards problem ; the second one corresponds to a large time scale, when the evolution of the hydraulic head turns to become independent of the vertical variable. These two types of flow are appropriately modelled by, respectively, a one-dimensional and a two-dimensional system of PDEs boundary value problems. They are coupled along an artificial level below which the Dupuit hypothesis holds true (i.e. the vertical flow is instantaneous below the function h(t,x)) in away ensuring that the global model is mass conservative. Tuning the artificial level, which even can depend on an unknown of the problem, we browse the new class of models. We prove using asymptotic expansions that the 3DRichards problem and eachmodel of the class behaves the same at every considered time scale (short, intermediate and large) in thin aquifers. We describe a numerical scheme to approximate the non-linear coupled model. The standard Galerkin’s finite element approximation in space and Backward Euler method in time are used for discretization. Then we reformulate the discrete equation by introducing the Dirichlet to Neumann operator to handle the nonlinear coupling in time. The fixed point iterative method is applied to solve the reformulated discrete equation. We have examined the coupled model in different boundary conditions and different aquifers. In the every situations, the numerical results of the coupled models fit well with the original Richards problem. We conclude our work by the mathematical analysis of a model coupling 3D-Richards flow and Dupuit horizontal flow. It differs from the first one because we no longer assume a purely vertical flow in the upper capillary fringe. This model thus consists in a nonlinear coupled system of 3D-Richards equation with a nonlinear parabolic equation describing the evolution of the interface h(t,x) between the saturated and unsaturated zones of the aquifer. The main difficulties to be solved are those inherent to the 3D-Richards equation, the consideration of the free boundary h(t,x) and the presence of degenerate terms appearing in the diffusive terms and in the time derivatives.
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Munkhgerel Tsegmid. Modeling of shallow aquifers in interaction with surface waters. General Mathematics [math.GM]. Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019DUNK0526⟩. ⟨tel-02306811⟩

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