Title: Uncertainty in applying the temperature time-series method to the field under heterogeneous flow conditions
Authors: Chang, Ching-Min
Yeh, Hund-Der
Institute of Environmental Engineering
Keywords: Field-scale heat transport;Variance of temperature;Heterogeneous aquifers
Issue Date: 27-Nov-2014
Abstract: Due to the irregular distributions of aquifer hydraulic properties, the detail on the characterization of flow field cannot be anticipated. There can be a great degree of uncertainty in the prediction of heat transport processes anticipated in applying the traditional deterministic transport equation to field situations. This article is therefore devoted to quantification of uncertainty involving predictions over larger scales in terms of the temperature variance. A stochastic frame of reference is adopted to account for the spatial variability in hydraulic conductivity and specific discharge. Within this framework, the use of the first-order perturbation approximation and spectral representation leads to stochastic differential equations governing the mean behavior and perturbation of the temperature field in heterogeneous aquifers. It turns out that the mean equation developed in this sense is equivalent to the traditional deterministic transport equation and the temperature variance gives a measure of the prediction uncertainty from the traditional transport equation. The closed-form expression for the temperature variance developed here indicates that the controlling parameters such as the correlation scale of specific discharge, which measures the spatial persistence of the flow field, and the periodicity of the source term tend to increase the variability in temperature field in heterogeneous aquifers. The uncertainty of the traditional heat transport model increases as the penetration depth of thermal front through the aquifer increases. This suggests that prediction of temperature distribution using the traditional heat transport model in heterogeneous aquifers is expected to be subject to large uncertainty at a large depth (in the downstream region). For the management purpose, the variance of temperature could serve as a calibration target when applying the traditional model to field situations. It may be more reasonable to make conclusions from, say, the mean temperature with one or two standard deviations rather than only the mean temperature drawn from the traditional heat transport equation. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.08.029
ISSN: 0022-1694
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.08.029
Volume: 519
Begin Page: 902
End Page: 908
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