15 Aug 2022
15 Aug 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Estimation of hydraulic conductivity functions in karst regions by particle swarm optimization with application to lake Vrana, Croatia

Vanja Travaš1, Luka Zaharija2, Davor Stipanić3, and Siniša Družeta4 Vanja Travaš et al.
  • 1University of Rijeka, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Radmile Matejčić 3, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
  • 2Hidromodeling Ltd, Radmile Matejčić 10, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia
  • 3Ryan Hanley Ltd, 1 Galway Business Park, Dangan, Galway, H91 A3EF, Ireland
  • 4University of Rijeka, Faculty of Engineering, Vukovarska 58, 51000 Rijeka, Croatia

Abstract. To examine the effectiveness of various technical solutions for minimizing the adverse effects of salt water intrusion in lake Vrana, Croatia, a reliable mathematical model for describing the exchange of fresh and salt water between the lake and its surroundings is needed. For this purpose, a system of two ordinary and nonlinear differential equation is used. The variable coefficients represents hydraulic conductivity functions that are used to quantify groundwater flow and should be appropriately estimated by relying on data obtained by in situ measurements. In the abstract space of all possible hydraulic conductivity functions, the method of particle swarm optimization was used to search for functions which will minimize the difference between the predicted (modeled) and realized (measured) water surface elevation in the lake through the time span of 5 years (which includes relevant hydrological extremes – droughts and floods). The associated procedure requires the parameterization of conductivity functions which will define the number of dimensions of the search space. Although the considered mass exchange processes are significantly nonlinear, and the parametrization of hydraulic conductivity functions can define a search space with relatively large number of dimensions (60 dimensions were used to estimate the hydraulic conductivity functions of Vrana lake), the presented example confirms the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Vanja Travaš et al.

Status: open (until 27 Oct 2022)

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  • CC1: 'Comment on hess-2022-253', Jianfeng Wu, 14 Sep 2022 reply

Vanja Travaš et al.

Vanja Travaš et al.


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Short summary
In order to model groundwater flow in karst aquifers, it is necessary to approximated the influence of the unknown and irregular structure of the karst conduits. For this purpose, a procedure based on inverse modeling is adopted. Moreover, in order to reconstruct the functional dependencies related to groundwater flow, the particle swarm method was used, through which the optimal solution of unknown functions is found by imitating the movement of ants in search of food.