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Ground Water. 2005 Nov-Dec;43(6):781-6.

Are water tables a subdued replica of the topography?

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SPEA 439, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405, USA.


The water table in unconfined aquifers is often believed to be a subdued replica of the topography or land surface. However, this assumption has not been widely tested and in some cases has been found to be in error. An analysis of ground water rise in regional unconfined aquifers, using both a two-dimensional boundary element model and a one-dimensional Dupuit-Forchheimer model, reveals the conditions under which the water table does or does not closely follow the topography. A simple decision criterion is presented to estimate in advance under which conditions the water table is expected to be largely unrelated to the topography and under which conditions the topography controls the position of the water table.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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