A generalized water table fluctuation model based on precipitation was developed using a statistical conceptualization of unsaturated infiltration fluxes. A gamma distribution function was adopted as a transfer function due to its versatility in representing recharge rates with temporally dispersed infiltration fluxes, and a Laplace transformation was used to obtain an analytical solution. To prove the general applicability of the model, convergences with previous water table fluctuation models were shown as special cases. For validation, a few hypothetical cases were developed, where the applicability of the model to a wide range of unsaturated zone conditions was confirmed. For further validation, the model was applied to water table level estimations of three monitoring wells with considerably thick unsaturated zones on Jeju Island. The results show that the developed model represented the pattern of hydrographs from the two monitoring wells fairly well. The lag times from precipitation to recharge estimated from the developed system transfer function were found to agree with those from a conventional cross-correlation analysis. The developed model has the potential to be adopted for the hydraulic characterization of both saturated and unsaturated zones by being calibrated to actual data when extraneous and exogenous causes of water table fluctuation are limited. In addition, as it provides reference estimates, the model can be adopted as a tool for surveilling groundwater resources under hydraulically stressed conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology