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J. Hydrol. Hydromech.

, 57, 2009, 2, 113120

DOI: 10.2478/v10098-009-0010-4

ANALYTICAL SOLUTION FOR TRANSIENT HYDRAULIC HEAD, FLOW RATE

AND VOLUMETRIC EXCHANGE IN AN AQUIFER UNDER RECHARGE CONDITION

RAJEEV KUMAR BANSAL1) , SAMIR KUMAR DAS2)*

1)
Department of Mathematics, National Defense Academy, Khadakwasla, Pune - 411023, India;
mailto: bansal_rajeev31@hotmail.com
2)*
Corresponding Author, Department of Computational Fluid Dynamics, International Institute of Information Technology, Pune
Infotech Park, Hinjewadi, Pune- 411057, India; Tel: +91-20-22933441, Fax: +91-20-22934191,
mailto:samird@isquareit.ac.in; samirkumar_d@yahoo.com

This paper presents closed form solution for unsteady flow equation corresponding to the transient hy-
draulic head, flow rate and volumetric exchange of a confined aquifer which is in contact with a constant
piezometric head at one end and a stream whose water level is rising at a constant rate at the other end. The
aquifer is also subjected to receive constant inflow due to rain infiltration. The unsteady groundwater flow
equation is solved using Laplace transform to get analytical expressions for the transient hydraulic head and
flow rate at the left and right interfaces and the net volumetric exchange of water at the aquifer-stream inter-
face. The analytical results presented here show the effect of recharge due to rain infiltration on the net
volumetric exchange and reveal the conditions for which net inflow in the aquifer could be positive, nega-
tive or zero. The results obtained have the capability to determine transient hydraulic head for two extreme
scenarios: (i) very slow rise and (ii) very fast rise in the stream water. Analytical result show that the net
volumetric exchange could be positive, zero or negative depending on the surface infiltration and stream
water rise rate.

KEY WORDS: Piezometric Head, Flow Rate, Volumetric Exchange, Confined Aquifer, Analytical Solu-
tion, Laplace Transform.

Rajeev Kumar Bansal, Samir Kumar Das: HYDRAULICK VKY, RCHLOSTI PRDENIA A OB-
JEMOV TOKY VO ZVODNENOM KOLEKTORE, UREN ANALYTICKM RIEENM ROV-
NICE NEUSTLENHO PRDENIA PODZEMNCH VD. J. Hydrol. Hydromech., 57, 2009, 2; 13 lit.,
6 obr.

Prspevok obsahuje analytick rieenie rovnice neustlenho prdenia vzhadom na neustlen

hydraulick vku, rchlos prdenia a objemov toky vo zvodnenom kolektore s naptou hladinou, ktor
je v kontakte s kontantnou piezometrickou vkou na jednej strane a s tokom s kontantne sa zvyujcou
hladinou vody na strane druhej.
Zvodnen kolektor je tie napjan kontantnou rchlosou infiltrovanou vodou zo zrok. Rovnica
neustlenho prdenia podzemnej vody je rieen s pouitm Laplaceovej transformcie, aby sme zskali
neustlen tlakov vku na avej aj pravej strane a objemov prtok vody na rozhran zvodnen kolektor
tok.
Vsledky analytickho rieenia, ktor predkladme, ukazuj vplyv infiltrcie zrok na doplovanie
podzemnej vody a odhauj podmienky, za ktorch prtok do zvodnenho kolektora me by kladn,
negatvny, alebo nulov. Zskan vsledky umouj uri neustlen hydraulick vky pre dva extrmne
scenre: (i) vemi pomal a (ii) vemi rchle zvenie hladiny vody v toku. Analytick rieenie ukazuje, e
objem vody, ktorou je zvodnen kolektor doplovan, me by kladn, zporn, alebo nulov, v zvislosti
na intenzite infiltrcie a rchlosti zvyovania sa hladiny vody v toku.

KOV SLOV: piezometrick vka, rchlos prdenia, prtok do podzemnch vd, ohranien
zvodnen kolektor, analytick rieenia, Laplaceova transformcia.

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1. Introduction [L], N constant recharge per unit area of the aqui-

fer [L T-1], L the length of the domain and
The study of water table rise in aquifers due to
0 if t 0
surface infiltration and canal recharge has received
considerable importance from hydrogeologists and (t ) = 1 if 0 < t tr (2)
environmental engineers. Water table rise due to
seepage from canals, with or without vertical infil- 0 if t > tr
tration is investigated by a number of researchers.
The change in water table under the steady state
condition has been studied by Maasland (1959),
while the unsteady cases have been examined by
Hantush (1967), Marino (1974), Gill (1984),
Mustafa (1987), Barlow and Moench (2000). Ex-
haustive reference on earlier works can be obtained
from the monographs of Polubarinova-Kochina
(1962) and Huisman (1978). Recently Boufadel and
Peridier (2002) have presented the analytical ex-
pressions for hydraulic head and volumetric ex-
change of water between an aquifer and a con-
stantly rising stream under no recharge condition.
In this study, we present analytical solution of
the groundwater flow equation to obtain pertinent
expressions for transient hydraulic head, flow rate
and volumetric exchange in a confined aquifer. The
Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of a confined aquifer with recharge.
aquifer is in contact with constant piezometric head Obr. 1. Schematick diagram zvodnenho kolektora s naptou
at one end and a stream whose water level is rising hladinou s prtokom.
at a constant rate at the other end. The aquifer also
receives a constant recharge due to surface infiltra- We prescribe the initial condition as
tion. The closed form solution establishes the de-
h h
pendence of hydraulic head, flow rate and volumet- h ( x, t = 0 ) = h0 0 L x (3)
ric exchange on the recharge rate. L
and the boundary conditions as
2. Problem formulation and analytical solution
h( x = 0, t ) = h0 (4)
We consider the aquifer to be confined, homoge-
h hL
neous, isotropic, and incompressible. As shown in h( x = L, t ) = hL + 0 t for 0 t tr (5)
Fig. 1, the aquifer is in contact with a constant wa- tr
ter head h0 at one end and a stream with initial wa-
h( x = L, t ) = h0 for t > tr (6)
ter level hL at the other end. The water level in the
stream is rising at a constant rate from its initial Introducing the following dimensionless variables
level hL up to h0 in time tr and remains there for
indefinite time. During the time tr, the aquifer also h h0 x K
= ; X= ; = t
receives percolation recharge at a constant rate N. hL h0 L S s L2
The groundwater flow equation in the aquifer, K
which is a continuity equation (Forchheimer, and = tr (7)
1901), can be written as S s L2

2h N (t ) h we get
K + = Ss , (1)
x 2 b t 2 L2 N ( )
+ = (8)
where h is the hydraulic head [L], K the saturated X 2 Kb(hL h0 )
hydraulic conductivity [L T-1], Ss specific stora-
where
tivity [L-1], b the average thickness of the aquifer

114

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Analytical solution for transient hydraulic head, flow rate and volumetric exchange in an aquifer under recharge condition

0 if 0
( X , p) = e p ( X , )d . (16)
( ) = 1 if 0 < (9) 0

0 if > Using (16), Eq. (11) reduces to

L2 d2 1 e p
Letting, m = . (10) ( X , p ) + mN =
Kb( hL h0 ) dX 2 p

Eq. (8) can be written as = p ( X , p ) ( X , = 0). (17)
2 Invoking (12) in (17), we obtain
+ mN ( ) = (11)
X 2
1 e p
d2
and accordingly the initial and boundary conditions ( X , p ) + mN =
dX 2 p
become
= p ( X , p ) X . (18)
( X , = 0 ) = X (12)
Eq. (18) is an ordinary differential equation whose
( X = 0, ) = 0 (13) solution can be defined as

( X = 1, ) = 1

for (14) { (
( X , p ) = A cosh X p + B sinh X p) ( )} +
1 e p (19)
X
( X = 1, ) = 0 for > . (15) + + mN
p2

p
Analytical solution of the groundwater flow Eq.
(11) can be obtained by applying the Laplace trans- where A and B are arbitrary constants and can be
form, defined as found out by taking Laplace transform of Eqs. (13)
to (15) and using them in Eq. (19). Substituting the
values of A and B in Eq. (19), we obtain

p
X mN
p p
(
( X , p ) = + 2 1 e p mN 2 )
sinh(1 X ) p
p sinh p
+ mN
e sinh(1 X ) p
p 2 sinh p

p
1 1 sinh X p 11 e sinh X p
mN + + mN + . (20)
p 2 sinh p p 2 sinh p

The inverse Laplace transform of Eq. (20) can be obtained using the calculus of residues (Sneddon, 1972;
Brown and Churchill, 1996). This leads to
2 2 2 2
sin n X 1 e n ( 1) n sin n X 1 e n
2 mN + 1 for
( X , ) = X 1 + 2 mN
n =1 3 3
n n =1 3
n 3

(21)
and
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
sin n X e n ( ) e n (1)n sin n X e n ( ) e n

( X , ) = 2mN 2 mN + 1
for

n=1 3
n 3
n=1 n3 3

(22)

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Eq. (21) provides the expression for the hydraulic The water head expressions for a horizontal aquifer
head from the initial time up to time tr (equivalently without recharge can be obtained by setting N = 0
) whereas Eq. (22) provides it for the subsequent in Eqs. (21) and (22). Accordingly, we obtain
time. Eqs. (21) and (22) becomes identical for = .

2 2
( 1) n sin n X 1 e n
2 for (23)
( X , ) = X 1
n =1 3
n 3

2 2 2 2 2 2
(1)n sin n X e( + n )( ) e( + n )
2
( X , ) = for . (24)
n=1 3
n 3

These results are in conformity with the results 3. Flow rate and volume exchange
obtained by Boufadel and Peridier (2002). One can
also derive the expressions for the asymptotic The flow rate through a unite cross sectional
cases of very fast and very slow rise of the water in area in the aquifer is given by (Bear and Verrujit,
the stream by taking 0 and in Eqs. (24) 1987)
and (23) respectively. The corresponding analytical
h
expressions are q = K . (27)
x
Introducing the following dimension less flow rate
n
(1) sin n X n2 2 Q and after using Eq. (7) in Eq. (27), we get
( X , ) = 2 e , (25)
n =1 n3 3 Q=
q
(28)
K ( hL h0 ) / L
and
sin n X n2 2
( X , ) = X + 2mN 1 e
n=1 n3 3 Q= . (29)
X
(1)n sin n X n2 2
2mN 1 e . (26) The expressions for dimensionless flow rate Q at
3 3
n=1 n the left and right boundary of the aquifer can be
obtained by substituting X = 0 and X = 1.

2 2 2 2
mN 1 en 1 (1)n e n
Q X =0 = 1 + + 2mN 2 mN + for 0 (30)
2 6 n =1 n 2 2 n=1 n 2 2

n 2 2 ( ) 2 2 2 2 2 2
e en ( 1) n e n ( ) e n
2 mN + 1
Q X =0 = 2mN
for (31)
n =1 2 2
n n =1 2
n 2

2 2 2 2
mN 1 ( 1) n e n 1 en
Q X =1 = 1 2 mN + 2 mN + for 0 (32)
2 3 n =1 n 2 2 n =1 n 2 2

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Analytical solution for transient hydraulic head, flow rate and volumetric exchange in an aquifer under recharge condition

2 2 2 2 n 2 2 ( ) 2 2
( 1) n e n ( ) e n e en

Q X =1 = 2mN 2 mN + 1
for (33)

n =1 2
n 2
n =1 n 2 2
The net volume outflow at right interface can be obtained after integrating dimensionless flow rate Q
at X = 1.

V ( ) = Q( X = 1, ') d ' . (34)
0
Utilizing Eq. (34) in (32) and (33), we obtain following expressions
2 2 2 2
mN ( 1) n (1 e n ) 1 (1 e n ) , (35)
V ( < ) = 1 2 m N + 2 m N +
2 2 3 n =1 n 4 4 n =1 n 4 4

2 2 2 2
1 mN ( 1) n (1 e n ) 1 (1 e n )
V ( = ) = 2mN + 2mN + , (36)
2 3 2 n =1 n 4 4 n =1 n 4 4

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
(1)n (1 e n )(1 e n ( ) ) 1 (1 e n )(1 e n ( ) )
V ( > ) = V + 2mN 2mN + . (37)
n =1 n 4 4 n=1 n4 4

The steady state net inflow or outflow of the vol- 4. Results and discussion
ume is obtained from Eq. (37) by setting and
this yields In order to illustrate the applicability of this ana-
lytical solution, we consider a hypothetical aquifer
1
V = (1 mN ) . (38) of length L = 100 m, b = 4 m, K = 0.001 m s-1, Ss =
2 3 0.09 m-1, h0 = 10 m, hL = 5 m and tr = 3 days.
From the definition of m, given by Eq. (10) one While computing Eqs. (21) and (22) and other se-
can easily infer that m is negative (as HL < H0). ries solutions, we find good convergence for all
Since N is positive, Eq. (40) implies that V in- values of dimensionless time considered for this
creases linearly with recharge rate N. Based on Eq. problem. The spatial and temporal variation in hy-
(38), the volumetric exchange can be either positive draulic head (1 ) in the aquifer during and after
(outflow), zero or negative (inflow) depending the rise of stream water for N = 2 mm hr -1 and 4
upon following conditions mm hr -1 is plotted in Fig. 2, utilizing Eqs. (21) and
(22). A higher recharge rate shows overall water
1
> for V > 0, (39) table rise in the aquifer; although the relative rise of
3 (1 mN ) water table in the middle of the aquifer is more
evident than that of rest of the aquifer. Figs. 3 and 4
1
= for V = 0, (40) show the flow rates at the left and right interfaces
3 (1 mN ) respectively that are being plotted against time for
N = 0, 2 and 4 mm hr-1. We observe that the flow
1 rate (QX=0) is higher at the beginning and decreases
< for V < 0. (41)
3 (1 mN ) rapidly with time and becomes zero for large values
of (Fig. 3). For higher recharge rate, the hydraulic
The Eqs. (39)(41) show important relationship gradient available to the water to at X = 0 reduces
for volumetric exchange between aquifer and ad- and as a result the flow rate (QX=0) decreases. Fig. 4
joining water body. shows the flow rate at X = 1 for various recharge
rate defined by Qx=1. At the initial stage, QX=1 is
positive (outflow) and as time passes this outflow

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R. K. Bansal , S. K. Das

Fig. 2. Hydraulic head (1 ) in the aquifer for different time Fig. 4. Flow rate at X = 1 for N = 0, 2 and 4 [mm hr-1] as
under recharge rate N = 2 and 4 [mm hr-1]. a function of time .
Obr. 2. Hydraulick vka (1 ) v zvodnenom kolektore Obr. 4. Rchlos prdenia pri X = 1 pre N = 0, 2 a 4 [mm h-1]
v rozdielnych asoch pri rchlosti prtoku vody N = 2 a 4 ako funkcia asu .
[mm h-1].
1 mN
c = . (42)
3 2

For > c, the flow rate becomes negative (in-

flow) and attains its maximum value near = . It
decreases thereafter and finally becomes zero for
large value of the time. Increase in recharge rate
provides higher hydraulic gradient at X = 1, result-
ing increase in the outflow and reduction in inflow
while compared with the cases for N = 0 and 2 [mm
hr-1]. The volumetric exchange (V) is plotted
against the time using Eqs. (35) to (37) for differ-
ent values of N and tr (Fig. 5). Using elementary
calculus, one can show that for 1, V attains its
maximum value at the same instant of time = c
Fig. 3. Flow rate at X = 0 for N = 0, 2 and 4 [mm hr-1] as when QX=1 becomes zero. The corresponding value
a function of time .
Obr. 3. Rchlos prdenia pri X = 0 pre N = 0, 2 a 4 [mm h-1] of V can be simplified from Eq. (36) as
ako funkcia asu . 1 mN 1
Vmax = (1 mN ) + ( 3mN + 4 ) + . (43)
2 3 24 18
decreases and becomes zero. For higher values of
(1), one can approximate the time c when QX=1 = The volume that enters or leaves the aquifer (V)
= 0 by neglecting the summation terms in Eq. (32), after the rise in the stream water can be expres-
and this yields sed as

2 2 2 2
(1) n (1 e n ) 1 (1 e n )
V = V V = 2mN 2mN + . (44)
n =1 n 4 4 n=1 n 4 4

The sensitivity of recharge and corresponding vol- notice that V decreases as increases. In the ab-
ume inflow and outflow are shown in Fig. 6. We sence of recharge (N = 0), there is always an inflow

118

Unauthenticated
Analytical solution for transient hydraulic head, flow rate and volumetric exchange in an aquifer under recharge condition

the solutions with respect to the change in the re-

charge rate is analyzed. It has been shown that the
conditions for net volumetric exchange to be posi-
tive, zero or negative, depend on surface infiltration
and stream water rise rate.

List of symbols

h(x,t) hydraulic head [L],

K hydraulic conductivity [L T-1],
Ss specific storitivity [L-1],
h0 piezometric head at the left boundary (Fig. 1) [L],
hL initial piezometric head in the stream (Fig. 1) [L],
x horizontal x-axis [L],
t time [T],
tr time in which the stream water rises from h0 to hL at a
constant speed [T],
b mean aquifer depth [L],
Fig. 5. Net volumetric exchange V at stream-aquifer interface N constant recharge rate [L T-1],
as a function of time . q flow rate [L T-1],
Obr. 5. Prietok cez hranicu zvodnenho kolektora V na hranici L length of the aquifer [L],
tok kolektor ako funkcia asu . X spatial coordinate equal to x/L [],
Q flow rate [],
QX=0 flow rate at the left boundary X = 0 [],
QX=1 flow rate at the right boundary X = 1 [],
V net volumetric exchange at the stream-aquifer inter-
face [],
V steady state volumetric exchange [],
Vmax maximum volume [],
V volume that enters or leaves aquifer after the rise
in the stream water,
(X, ) (h h0)/(hL h0) [],
time equal to (K t)/SL2 [],
c time when the flow rate QX=1 = 0 [],
time equal to (K tr)/SL2 corresponding to time, t = tr
[].

REFERENCES

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stream-stage and recharge variations. 1. Analytical step-
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Boston-Lancaster-Tokyo.
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expression for the piezometric profile and water exchange
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ing an appropriate recharge rate and . a uniform rise of the stream level. Water Resource Re-
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h0 piezometrick vka na avej hranici (obr. 1) [L],
Received 7. February 2008 hL poiaton piezometrick vka v toku (obr. 1) [L],
Scientific paper accepted 19. February 2009 x horizontlna os x [L],
t as [T],
tr as, poas ktorho voda v toku stpne kontantnou
HYDRAULICK VKY, RCHLOSTI PRDENIA rchlosou z h0p po hL [T],
A OBJEMOV TOKY VO ZVODNENOM b priemern hrbka zvodnenho kolektora [L],
KOLEKTORE, UREN ANALYTICKM N kontantn rchlos prtoku do zvodnenho kolektora
RIEENM ROVNICE NEUSTLENHO [LT-1],
PRDENIA PODZEMNCH VD q rchlos prdenia [LT-1],
L dka zvodnenho kolektora [L],
Rajeev Kumar Bansal, Samir Kumar Das X priestorov sradnica, rovnajca sa x/L [],
Q rchlos prdenia [] ,
tdia obsahuje analytick vrazy na vyjadrenie ob- QX = 0 rchlos prdenia pri pravej hranici X = 0 [],
QX = 1 rchlos prdenia pri avej hranici X = 1 [],
jemov prtoku do zvodnenho kolektora s naptou hladi- V prietok na hranici tok zvodnen kolektor [],
nou, ktor je v kontakte s kontantnou piezometrickou V ustlen prietok na hranici [],
vkou na jednej strane a kontantne sa zvyujcou Vmax maximlny objem [],
hladinou vody v toku na strane druhej. Matematick V objem, ktor vstupuje, alebo vytek zo zvodnenho
vrazy, ktor uvdzame, umouj kvantifikova hy- kolektora po zven hladiny vody v toku [],
draulick vku, rchlos prdenia a objemy prtoku do as (K t)/SL2 [],
zvodnenho kolektora a umouj zhodnoti asymp- c as, ak je rchlos prdenia QX=1 = 0 [],
totick prpady. Prca analyzuje citlivos rieenia voi as rovnajci sa (K tr)/SL2, zodpovedajci asu t = tr[].

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