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Modelling the water level of the alluvial aquifer of an ephemeral river in south-western Zimbabwe

Mpala, SC, Gagnon, AS, Mansell, MG and Hussey, SW Modelling the water level of the alluvial aquifer of an ephemeral river in south-western Zimbabwe. Hydrological Sciences Journal. ISSN 0262-6667 (Accepted)

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Abstract

Water from the alluvium of ephemeral rivers in Zimbabwe is increasingly being used. These alluvial aquifers are recharged annually from infiltrating floodwater. Nonetheless, the size of this water resource is not without limit and an understanding of the hydrological processes of an alluvial aquifer is required for its sustainable management. This paper presents the development of a water balance model, which estimates the water level in an alluvial aquifer recharged by surface flow and rainfall, while allowing for abstraction, evaporation and other losses. The model is coupled with a watershed model, which generates inflows from upland catchment areas and tributaries. Climate, hydrological, land cover and geomorphological data were collected as inputs to both models as well as observed flow and water levels for model calibration and validation. The sand river model was found to be good at simulating the observed water level and was most sensitive to porosity and seepage.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience, 0905 Civil Engineering, 0907 Environmental Engineering
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2020 12:20
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 12:30
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12243

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