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TitleA development of a fully integrated groundwater-surface-water modelling platform for the Phanerozoic basin region of southern Ontario
DownloadDownload (whole publication)
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorFrey, S; Khader, O; Taylor, A; Russell, HORCID logo; Lapen, D; Berg, S; Sudicky, E
SourceRegional-Scale Groundwater Geoscience in Southern Ontario: An Ontario Geological Survey, Geological Survey of Canada, and Conservation Ontario Geoscientists Open House; by Russell, H A JORCID logo; Ford, D; Holysh, S; Priebe, E H; Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 8528, 2019 p. 11, Open Access logo Open Access
Alt SeriesOntario Geological Survey, Open File Report 6349
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
PublisherGovernment of Ontario
MeetingRegional-Scale Groundwater Geoscience in Southern Ontario: Open House; Guelph; CA; February 27-28, 2019
Documentopen file
Mediaon-line; digital
RelatedThis publication is contained in Regional-Scale Groundwater Geoscience in Southern Ontario: An Ontario Geological Survey, Geological Survey of Canada, and Conservation Ontario Geoscientists Open House
File formatpdf
NTS30; 31B; 31C; 31D; 31E; 31G; 40; 41A; 41G; 41H/03; 41H/04; 41H/05; 41H/06; 41H/12; 41H/13
AreaSouthern Ontario; Great Lakes
Lat/Long WENS -84.0000 -74.0000 46.0000 41.5000
Subjectshydrogeology; surficial geology/geomorphology; geochemistry; regional geology; environmental geology; Nature and Environment; groundwater; modelling; groundwater resources; groundwater regimes; groundwater movement; aquifers; surface waters; sedimentary basins; flow regimes; transport mechanisms; pollutants; bedrock geology; sediments; soils; hydrologic environment; climate; HydroGeoSphere; Risk management; Land cover; Climate change; Population; Agriculture; Waste water; Phanerozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary; Paleozoic; Silurian
ProgramGroundwater Geoscience Aquifer Assessment & support to mapping
Released2019 02 08
AbstractIn early 2018, construction began on a HydroGeoSphere (HGS) fully-integrated GW-SW modelling platform for Southern Ontario, with high resolution subsurface hydro-stratigraphy based on the GSC-OGS 3D geological modelling initiative.
In total, four HGS models were constructed, using a combination of coarse (41,000 nodes per layer) and fine (133,000 nodes per layer) unstructured finite element meshes, and with the full Phanerozoic sequence (represented by 21 hydrostratigraphic/soil layers) as well as a version with the Phanerozoic sequence cut off at the sulfur-brine interface (represented by 16 hydrostratigraphic/soil layers). During model construction, extensive effort was devoted to characterizing and reducing model structural uncertainty, with the end result being a heterogeneous subsurface parameterization (which includes effective representation of key karst units) underlying a temporally and spatially varying land surface that incorporates key driving factors for overland flow and evapotranspiration.
Results from validation and testing demonstrate that the models can successfully capture the spatially varying transient behavior of the coupled SW and GW flow system at the regional scale, based on simulated vs observed surface water flows and groundwater heads at a respective 27 hydrograph locations and 300 monitoring well locations dispersed across the model domain. Further comparison of the simulation results from the different models combined with the different levels of temporal forcing (steady-state vs. transient) provides insight on how model spatial and temporal resolution can influence simulated heads and stream flows, and can thus be used to help determine prudent use cases for models incorporating varying levels of detail.
With the proof-of-concept now near completion, there are numerous applications for the modelling platform and its underlying database to be used to further develop our understanding of regional scale hydrologic processes within Southern Ontario, as well as to inform smaller scale investigations that would benefit from insight on how regional flow systems may be influencing localized areas of interest. Furthermore, the platform will also serve as a tool to help identify current limitations in our knowledge of regional groundwater flow, to help guide future data collection initiatives, and to quantitatively test hypotheses relating to how different conceptual model realizations of subsurface hydrostratigraphy can influence hydrologic behavior.
This presentation will provide a brief overview of the methodology employed towards model construction, followed by a discussion of model performance and spatial-temporal sensitivities, and will finish with a set of example applications targeting questions relating to how groundwater - surface water interactions govern inflow to the Great Lakes under different climate conditions.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Volume of abstracts for Ontario Geological Survey and Geological Survey of Canada groundwater geoscience Open house with Conservation Ontario.

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