Publication: Inferring geostatistical properties of hydraulic conductivity fields from saline tracer tests and equivalent electrical conductivity time-series

in Advances in Water Resources (2020)
by Alejandro Fernandez Visentini, Niklas Linde, Tanguy Le Borgne, Marco Dentz


We use Approximate Bayesian Computation and the Kullback–Leibler divergence measure to quantify to what extent horizontal and vertical equivalent electrical conductivity time-series observed during tracer tests constrain the 2-D geostatistical parameters of multivariate Gaussian log-hydraulic conductivity fields. Considering a perfect and known relationship between salinity and electrical conductivity at the point scale, we find that the horizontal equivalent electrical conductivity time-series best constrain the geostatistical properties. The variance, controlling the spreading rate of the solute, is the best constrained geostatistical parameter, followed by the integral scales in the vertical direction. We find that horizontally layered models with moderate to high variance have the best resolved parameters. Since the salinity field at the averaging scale (e.g., the model resolution in tomograms) is typically non-ergodic, our results serve as a starting point for quantifying uncertainty due to small-scale heterogeneity in laboratory-experiments, tomographic results and hydrogeophysical inversions involving DC data.

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