Capillary effect on water table fluctuations in unconfined aquifers

Kong, Jun, Shen, Cheng-Ji, Xin, Pei, Song, Zhiyao, Li, Ling, Barry, D. A., Jeng, D.-S., Stagnitti, F., Lockington, D.A. and Parlange, J.-Y. (2013) Capillary effect on water table fluctuations in unconfined aquifers. Water Resources Research, 49 5: 3064-3069. doi:10.1002/wrcr.20237

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Author Kong, Jun
Shen, Cheng-Ji
Xin, Pei
Song, Zhiyao
Li, Ling
Barry, D. A.
Jeng, D.-S.
Stagnitti, F.
Lockington, D.A.
Parlange, J.-Y.
Title Capillary effect on water table fluctuations in unconfined aquifers
Journal name Water Resources Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0043-1397
Publication date 2013-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/wrcr.20237
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 49
Issue 5
Start page 3064
End page 3069
Total pages 6
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Subject 2312 Water Science and Technology
Abstract Parlange and Brutsaert (1987) derived a modified Boussinesq equation to account for the capillary effect on water table dynamics in unconfined aquifers. Barry et al. (1996) solved this equation subject to a periodic boundary condition. Their solution shows significant influence of capillarity on water table fluctuations, which evolve to finite-amplitude standing waves at the high frequency limit. Here we propose a new governing equation for the water table, which considers both horizontal and vertical flows in an unsaturated zone of finite thickness. An approximate analytical solution for periodic water table fluctuations based on the new equation was derived. In agreement with previous results, the analytical solution shows that the unsaturated zone's storage capacity permits water table fluctuations to propagate more readily than predicted by the Boussinesq equation. Furthermore, the new solution reveals a capping effect of the unsaturated zone on both the amplitude and phase of the water table fluctuations as well as the water table overheight. Due to the finite thickness of the unsaturated zone, the capillary effect on water table fluctuations is modified mainly with reduced amplitude damping and phase shift.
Keyword Boussinesq equation
Coastal aquifer
Groundwater wave
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 2012CB417005
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2014 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 9 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 29 Nov 2013, 03:11:50 EST by System User on behalf of School of Civil Engineering