Improvement of the hillslope-storage Boussinesq model by considering lateral flow in the unsaturated zone

Kong, Jun, Shen, Chengji, Luo, Zhaoyang, Hua, Guofen and Zhao, Hongjun (2016) Improvement of the hillslope-storage Boussinesq model by considering lateral flow in the unsaturated zone. Water Resources Research, 52 4: 2965-2984. doi:10.1002/2015WR018054


Author Kong, Jun
Shen, Chengji
Luo, Zhaoyang
Hua, Guofen
Zhao, Hongjun
Title Improvement of the hillslope-storage Boussinesq model by considering lateral flow in the unsaturated zone
Journal name Water Resources Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1944-7973
0043-1397
Publication date 2016-04
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/2015WR018054
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 52
Issue 4
Start page 2965
End page 2984
Total pages 20
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract Unsaturated flow is an important factor that affects groundwater motion. Among various drainage models, the nonlinear Hillslope-storage Boussinesq (HSB) model has been commonly used to predict water flux along a slope. In this study, we improved this model by considering lateral flow in the unsaturated zone. Using modified van Genuchten functions, we analytically expressed the concept of equivalent propagation thickness in the vadose zone. This analytical expression was then incorporated into the HSB model to reflect two different stages of the drainage process and to simulate the hillslope drainage process more accurately. The model results indicated that lateral flow has significant effects in the unsaturated zone during the hillslope drainage process. Even in sandy aquifers, the amount of water contributed by the unsaturated zone is a key factor that enables a decrease in the water table during the middle and late stages of the process. A comparison between the measured and simulated results based on both convergent-type and divergent-type hillslope drainage processes revealed that the thickness of the saturated zone decreases as the unsaturated flow increases. This study emphasizes the necessity of considering unsaturated flow in the HSB model to improve the accuracy of predicting groundwater outflow rates and develop more accurate hydrographs. The concept of equivalent propagation thickness also provides a criterion for assessing the importance of unsaturated lateral flow for future drainage research.
Keyword Hillslope-storage Boussinesq (HSB) model
Drainage
Equivalent propagation thickness
Hillslope
Unsaturated flow
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
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