The AEM and regional carbonate aquifer modeling.

Ground water

PubMedID: 16405463

Johnson C, Mifflin M. The AEM and regional carbonate aquifer modeling. Ground Water. 2006;44(1):24-34.
The analytic element method (AEM) has been applied to a 15,000-km2 area of the Paleozoic carbonate rock terrain of Nevada. The focus is the Muddy River springs area, which receives 1.44 m3/s (51 ft3/s) of regionally derived ground water, and forms the Muddy River. The study was undertaken early in 2000 to support the development of a cooling water supply for a gas-fired generation facility 20 km south of the Muddy River springs. The primary objectives of the AEM modeling were to establish a better understanding of regional fluxes and boundary conditions and to provide a framework for examination of more local transient effects using MODFLOW. Geochemical evidence available in 2000 suggested two separate flow fields, one in the north discharging at the springs, and a southern area of small hydraulic gradients. To be conservative, however, hydraulic continuity between the two areas was maintained in the 2000 AEM model. Using new monitoring well data collected in the south, and analyses confirming that seasonal pumping effects in the north are not propagated to the south, a later AEM model that included a barrier calibrated with relative ease. The analytic element model was well suited for simulating an area larger than the immediate area of interest, was easy to modify as more information became available, and facilitated the stepwise development of multiple conceptual models of the site.