Improving a complex finite-difference ground water flow model through the use of an analytic element screening model
This paper demonstrates that analytic element models have potential as powerful screening tools that can facilitate or improve calibration of more complicated finite-difference and finite-element models. We demonstrate how a two-dimensional analytic element model was used to identify errors in a complex three-dimensional finite-difference model caused by incorrect specification of boundary conditions. An improved finite-difference model was developed using boundary conditions developed from a far-field analytic element model. Calibration of a revised finite-difference model was achieved using fewer zones of hydraulic conductivity and lake bed conductance than the original finite-difference model. Calibration statistics were also improved in that simulated base-flows were much closer to measured values. The improved calibration is due mainly to improved specification of the boundary conditions made possible by first solving the far-field problem with an analytic element model.