Hydrochemical facies analysis for large coastal groundwater model validation

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Abstract

Variable density groundwater models are essential for managing coastal groundwater resources. However, their practical applicability can be questioned due to limited validation opportunities on long timescales associated with the development of fresh-saline distributions. This study addresses this challenge by applying upscaled metamodeling techniques to a state-of-the-art variable density groundwater model (the original model) for the Meijendel-Berkheijde drinking water reservoir. Model validation is performed using a Hydrochemical Facies Analysis (HyFA) conducted by Stuyfzand (1993) in the same area. The primary objective of this study is to enhance validation techniques for variable density groundwater models by incorporating the HyFA. Unlike traditional snapshot-based validation, the HyFA enables validation of groundwater pathways calculated by the model. The applied metamodeling approach significantly reduces calculation times by implementing an upscaled horizontal grid size, parameter rescaling, and linear boundary conditions, thereby enhancing computational efficiency. Although the original model lacks long-term salinity validation, it has not been invalidated based on the similarity of metamodel outputs to the HyFA. However, in the northern part of the study area, a potentially excessive conductance term may result in higher infiltration rates. Incorporating the HyFA into the metamodel is straightforward by adding a "species" dimension in the SEAWAT structure. This validation technique proves valuable for assessing variable density groundwater models on shorter timescales, particularly in areas affected by extensive human interventions. This study contributes to collaborative efforts by Dunea, Deltares, and Arcadis (2021), aimed at advancing efficient modeling for the coastal groundwater reserve of Meijendel-Berkheijde. Transparent documentation of detailed model scripts ensures reproducibility and provides a valuable resource for future research. The insights gained from this study have implications for global advancements in coastal groundwater management. Keywords: Hydrochemical Facies Analysis, variable density groundwater modeling, upscaled metamodeling, coastal groundwater management.