Experimental observations of watertable waves in an unconfined aquifer with a sloping boundary

Cartwright, N., Nielsen, P. and Li, L. (2004) Experimental observations of watertable waves in an unconfined aquifer with a sloping boundary. Advances In Water Resources, 27 10: 991-1004. doi:10.1016/j.advwatres.2004.08.006

Author Cartwright, N.
Nielsen, P.
Li, L.
Title Experimental observations of watertable waves in an unconfined aquifer with a sloping boundary
Journal name Advances In Water Resources   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0309-1708
Publication date 2004-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.advwatres.2004.08.006
Volume 27
Issue 10
Start page 991
End page 1004
Total pages 14
Editor C. T. Miller
D. A. Barry
M. Parlange
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject 260501 Groundwater Hydrology
770402 Land and water management
Abstract Observations of horizontal and vertical variations in piezometric head in a homogeneous, laboratory aquifer are presented and discussed. The observed fluctuations are induced by a simple harmonic oscillation in the clear water reservoir acting across a sloping boundary. The data qualitatively supports existing theories in that higher harmonics are generated in the active forcing zone and that a significant increase in the inland, asymptotic watertable over height (relative to that found for the vertical boundary case) is observed. The observed overheight is shown to be accurately reproduced by existing small-amplitude perturbation theory. Detailed measurements in the vicinity of the sloping boundary reveal that the signal of generated higher harmonics is strongest near the sand surface and that vertical flows are significant in this region. The aquifer is of finite-depth and is influenced by capillary effects, the experimental data therefore exposes limitations of theories which are based on the assumption of a shallow aquifer free of capillary effects. The dispersive properties of the measured pressure wave in the aquifer are comparable to those found from field observations and likewise do not agree with those predicted by the capillary free, shallow aquifer theory. Although some improvement is obtained, discrepancies between the data and theory persist even when a finite-depth aquifer and capillary effects are considered in the theoretical model. Further sand column experiments eliminate a truncated capillary fringe as a possible contributor to these discrepancies. However, the neglect of horizontal flows in the fringe may have caused the discrepancies. (C) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keyword Watertable Waves
Sloping Boundary
Higher Harmonic Generation
Seepage Face
Finite-depth Aquifer
Capillary Fringe
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 05:03:01 EST