08 Mar 2023
 | 08 Mar 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Study of the effect of local forcing on the fractal behavior of shallow groundwater levels in a riparian aquifer

Abrar Habib, Athanasios Paschalis, Adrian P. Butler, Christian Onof, John P. Bloomfield, and James P. R. Sorensen

Abstract. With the help of a physically based recharge-groundwater flow model and robust detrended fluctuation analysis (r-DFAn), the effect of local (catchment-scale) forcing on groundwater levels’ scaling behavior in a riparian aquifer in Wallingford, UK, is investigated. The local forcings investigated in this study include the rainfall’s temporal scaling behavior (which is simulated by changing rainfall’s intermittency parameter in a β-lognormal multiplicative random cascade model), the aquifer’s physical parameters (saturated hydraulic conductivity, specific yield, the empirical coefficients of the water retention curve, and the river stage’s scaling behavior).

Groundwater level’s scaling behaviour was found to be most sensitive to rainfall’s fractal behaviour. Additionally, there is preliminary evidence suggesting that changes to the rainfall’s local scaling behaviour (i.e., change to the series’ scaling that induces crossovers) affects the groundwater’s and the recharge’s local scaling behaviour.

Abrar Habib et al.

Status: open (until 03 May 2023)

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Abrar Habib et al.

Abrar Habib et al.


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Short summary
Components of the hydrological cycle exhibit a “memory” in their behaviour which quantifies how long a variable would stay at high/low values. Being able to model and understand what affects it is vital for an accurate representation of the hydrological elements. In the current work, it is found that rainfall affects the fractal behaviour of groundwater levels, which implies that changes to rainfall due to climate change will change the periods of flood and drought in groundwater-fed catchments.