Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-642
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-642
10 May 2023
 | 10 May 2023
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Technical note: Novel analytical solution for groundwater response to atmospheric tides

Jose M. Bastias Espejo, Chris Turnadge, Russell S. Crosbie, Philipp Blum, and Gabriel C. Rau

Abstract. Subsurface hydraulic and geomechanical properties can be estimated from well water level responses to Earth and atmospheric tides. However, the limited availability of analytical solutions restricts the applicability of this approach to realistic field conditions. We present a new and rigorous analytical solution for modelling flow between a subsurface-well system caused by harmonic atmospheric loading. We integrate this into a comprehensive workflow that also estimates subsurface properties using a well-established Earth tide method. When applied to groundwater monitoring datasets obtained from two boreholes screened in a sand aquifer in the Mary-Wildman Rivers region (Northern Territory, Australia), estimated hydraulic conductivity and specific storage agree. Results also indicate that small vertical leakage occurs in the vicinity of both boreholes. Furthermore, the estimated geomechanical properties were within the values reported in literature for similar lithological settings. Our new solution extends the capabilities of existing approaches, and our results demonstrate that analysing the groundwater response to natural tidal forces is a low-cost and readily available solution for unconsolidated, hydraulically confined, and undrained subsurface conditions. This approach can support well-established characterisation methods, increasing the amount of subsurface information.

Jose M. Bastias Espejo et al.

Status: open (until 08 Jul 2023)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-642', Anonymous Referee #1, 20 May 2023 reply

Jose M. Bastias Espejo et al.

Jose M. Bastias Espejo et al.

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Short summary
Analytical models estimate subsurface properties from subsurface-tidal load interactions. However, they have limited accuracy in representing subsurface physics and parameter estimation. We derived a new analytical solution which models flow to wells due to atmospheric tides, we applied it to field data and compared our findings with subsurface knowledge. Our results enhance understanding of subsurface systems, providing valuable information on their behavior.