Evaluation of groundwater-surface water interaction through groundwater modelling: simulation of the effects of removal of a dam along a river at a contaminated site in Northern France

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Michele Remonti *
Piero Mori
(*) Corresponding Author:
Michele Remonti | Michele.Remonti@erm.com


A numerical groundwater flow model has been developed for an industrial site bounded by a river in in Basse Normandie, Northern France. The scope of the work was the optimisation of the existing groundwater pump and treat system and the prediction of possible effects on groundwater circulation after the future removal of a dam located along the river. The model has been implemented with the finite difference code MODFLOW 2005 and represents an area with an extension of approximately 800 x 500 m. It has been calibrated using static conditions groundwater head data (wells deactivated) and verified with 1) abstracting conditions (wells abstracting) head data, 2) simulating pumping tests with transient simulations and 3) comparing measured average river baseflow with modelled river drainage. The model indicates that the hydraulic barrier in the present abstraction scenario has some problematic areas and needs some improvements, as confirmed by the hydrochemical data of the river water. A first predictive scenario has been developed to optimise the barrier, indicating that a flow rate of 0.5 m3/h each at three new barrier wells, in addition to the present abstraction scenario, should ensure the hydraulic containment of the site. A second predictive scenario simulates the optimised groundwater abstractions without the presence of the dam along the neighbouring river. In these conditions, the river will increase the drainage effect on the aquifer, requiring a further increase in the rate of abstraction from the existing and new wells to ensure the hydraulic containment. With this paper we would like to present an example of what we think is a correct professional approach, with the design of the simplest model as possible depending on the hydrogeological conceptual model complexity, the abundance of data and the model objectives, and where multiple confirmations of the correctness of groundwater model results have been searched for.

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