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Ground Water. 2015 May-Jun;53(3):452-63. doi: 10.1111/gwat.12216. Epub 2014 Jun 5.

MODFLOW-Based Coupled Surface Water Routing and Groundwater-Flow Simulation.

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U.S. Geological Survey, 411 National Center, Reston, VA, 20192.


In this paper, we present a flexible approach for simulating one- and two-dimensional routing of surface water using a numerical surface water routing (SWR) code implicitly coupled to the groundwater-flow process in MODFLOW. Surface water routing in SWR can be simulated using a diffusive-wave approximation of the Saint-Venant equations and/or a simplified level-pool approach. SWR can account for surface water flow controlled by backwater conditions caused by small water-surface gradients or surface water control structures. A number of typical surface water control structures, such as culverts, weirs, and gates, can be represented, and it is possible to implement operational rules to manage surface water stages and streamflow. The nonlinear system of surface water flow equations formulated in SWR is solved by using Newton methods and direct or iterative solvers. SWR was tested by simulating the (1) Lal axisymmetric overland flow, (2) V-catchment, and (3) modified Pinder-Sauer problems. Simulated results for these problems compare well with other published results and indicate that SWR provides accurate results for surface water-only and coupled surface water/groundwater problems. Results for an application of SWR and MODFLOW to the Snapper Creek area of Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA are also presented and demonstrate the value of coupled surface water and groundwater simulation in managed, low-relief coastal settings.

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