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 Hunter subregion
 2.6.2 Groundwater numerical modelling for the Hunter subregion
 2.6.2.6 Parameterisation
 2.6.2.6.3 Summary of parameters in the groundwater model
There are 22 parameters in the groundwater model. They can be broadly grouped by model function into parameters relating to:
 Landsurface fluxes: two fixed parameters for defining evapotranspiration processes (see Section 2.6.2.4.2); there is also a recharge multiplier used in the uncertainty analysis to vary the recharge input.
 Generalhead boundary behaviour: one fixed parameter that is the conductance of all lateral boundaries (except the boundary to the Werrie Basin) and the ocean floor.
 Surface water – groundwater fluxes: four parameters that define the boundary conditions for the movement of water from groundwater to the river. River stage height varies with riverbed depth. The two leakage limiter parameters are fixed in the model (see Section 2.6.2.4.3).
 Hydraulic properties: nine parameters to define porosities and vertical and horizontal hydraulic conductivities with depth for the interburden (lithologies 1 to 6) and the alluvium (lithology 7) (Section 2.6.2.6.1).
 Unsaturated flow: two fixed parameters in the van Genuchten unsaturated flow equation (Section 2.6.2.6.2).
 Hydraulic enhancement: four parameters to characterise the magnitude of and depth over which hydraulic conductivity changes occur due to longwall mining (see Section 2.6.2.6.3).
Table 7 summarises the groundwater model parameters, including the reference values, ranges over which parameters are varied in the uncertainty analysis (see Section 2.6.2.8) and salient points. As identified above, a number of these parameters are dealt with in other sections of this product.
The range of conductivity and porosity values explored in the uncertainty analysis and its comparison with measured data is shown in Figure 26 and Figure 31 of companion product 2.12.2 for the Hunter subregion (Herron et al., 2018). As mentioned above, an upscaling analysis may be performed to yield a probability distribution for hydraulic conductivity, and the result of such an analysis is shown in Figure 21, which motivates the uncertainty bounds in Table 7. Figure 21 shows the probability distribution for the measured data in the depth interval 0 to 100 m. In this interval, conductivity measurements vary between 10^{–7} m/day and 30 m/day. The data have been binned into nine bins: the first lies between 10^{–7} m/day and 10^{–6} m/day, the second between 10^{–6} m/day and 10^{–5} m/day, and so on up to between 10^{1} m/day and 10^{2} m/day. Figure 21 shows that the data are roughly uniformly distributed into these bins, with slightly more likelihood of measurements occurring in the central bins than in the outer bins. Figure 21 also contains a probability distribution for the upscaled conductivity that is derived from the measured data, and its comparison with the uncertainty bounds for a 50 m depth from Table 7. Upscaling is discussed further in Renard and de Marsily (1997).
Conductivity enhancement above and below mines is discussed in Section 2.6.2.5.3, and the wide range of variation (5 orders of magnitude, and heights ranging between 100 m and 500 m above longwall workings) reflects the wide variation that may be experienced in different mining scenarios (Adhikary and Wilkins, 2012; Guo et al., 2014).
Table 7 Groundwater model parameters: their reference values and the minimum and maximum values used in the uncertainty analysis
Process 
Parameter 
Units 
Reference Value 
Min 
Max 
Notes 

Landsurface fluxes 
ET extinction depth (d) 
m 
d = V/4 
na 
na 
Fixed parameter. Depth below surface at which ET is assumed to cease. Calculated as a function of vegetation height, V. Throughout the Hunter subregion this varies between 0 m and 10 m. 
Watertable depth threshold for PET 
m 
–2 
na 
na 
Fixed parameter. Watertable depth above which ET is approximated by PET. 

Recharge multiplier 
na 
1 
0.5 
1.5 
Rainfall recharge to the groundwater system is multiplied by this quantity. 

Outer boundary 
General head conductance 
ML/y/m^{3} 
10^{–5} 
na 
na 
Generalhead conditions are applied at the lateral boundaries (excepting the boundary to the Werrie Basin) and the ocean floor. 
SWGW fluxes 
Riverbed conductance (C) 
ML/m/y 
320 
32 
3200 
The riverbed conductance for points representing a 1 km section of river. 
Riverbed depth 
m 
5 
0 
10 
This parameter may also be viewed as shifting the stage height of the rivers. 

River stage height (h_{0}) 
m 
3 
na 
na 
Defaults to 3 m, but varies with riverbed depth 

Leakage limiter (T) 
m 
P: –1 E: 0 
na 
na 
Fixed parameters. P = perennial: leakage does not increase when groundwater head is <1 m below river stage height E = ephemeral; T = 0 means no flow from river. 

Hydraulic properties 
Reference porosity – interburden (Φ_{1–6}) 
m^{3}/m^{3} 
0.1 
0.03 
0.3 
After multiplying by the decay parameter, porosity is constrained to always be greater than 0.0001 to ensure good convergence of the numerical model. 
Reference porosity – alluvium(Φ_{7}) 
m^{3}/m^{3} 
0.2 
0.06 
0.6 
After multiplying by the decay parameter, porosity is constrained to always be greater than 0.0001 to ensure good convergence of the numerical model. 

Decay parameter for porosity (a_{p}) 
na 
0.01 
0.005 
0.015 
An exponential decay function is used to vary porosity with depth. 

Horizontal conductivity – interburden (Kh_{16}) 
m/day 
0.5 
0.05 
5 
After multiplying by the decay parameter and applying mininginduced changes, an upper bound of 100 m/day and a lower bound of 10^{–6} m/day is placed on all conductivities. 

Horizontal conductivity – alluvium (Kh_{7}) 
m/day 
1.0 
0.1 
10 

Vertical conductivity – interburden (Kv_{1–6}) 
m/day 
0.05 
0.005 
0.5 

Vertical conductivity – alluvium (Kv_{7}) 
m/day 
1.0 
0.1 
10 

Decay parameter for Kh and Kv (a_{h} and a_{v}) 
na 
0.025 
0.01 
0.04 
An exponential decay function is used to vary hydraulic conductivity with depth. 

Kv/Kh 
na 
0.1 
0.01 
1 
Ratio of vertical to horizontal conductivity 

Unsaturated flow 
Capillary suction index 
na 
0.4 
na 
na 
Fixed parameter. van Genuchten capillary suction index parameter for rocks and soil 
Inverse head 
/m 
0.1 
na 
na 
Fixed parameter. van Genuchten inversehead parameter 

Hydraulic enhancement 
Hydraulic conductivity multiplier above seam (M) 
na 
LW: 9 BP: 2 
1.8 0.4 
9 2 
Order of magnitude increase in hydraulic conductivity. Bordandpillar (BP) mining has a lesser impact than longwall (LW) mining. Hydraulic enhancement occurs below, but not above opencut (OC) mines. 
Hydraulic conductivity multiplier below seam (m) 
na 
LW: 7 BP: 1 OC: 8 
1.4 0.2 1.6 
7 1 8 
Order of magnitude increase in hydraulic conductivity. Maximum height above and below the worked seam that hydraulic conductivity changes occur. Bordandpillar (BP) mining has a lesser impact than longwall (LW) mining. Hydraulic enhancement occurs below, but not above opencut (OC) mines. 

Height of enhancement above worked seam (Z) 
m 
LW: 500 BP: 100 
100 20 
500 100 

Depth of enhancement below worked seam (z) 
m 
LW: –250 BP: –50 OC: –90 
–50 –10 –18 
–250 –50 –90 
Maximum depth below the worked seam that hydraulic conductivity changes occur. 
BP = bordandpillar; E = ephemeral; ET = evapotranspiration; GW = groundwater; PET = potential evapotranspiration; P = perennial; LW = longwall; na = not applicable; OC = opencut; SW = surface water
Product Finalisation date
 2.6.2.1 Methods
 2.6.2.2 Review of existing models
 2.6.2.3 Model development
 2.6.2.4 Boundary and initial conditions
 2.6.2.5 Implementation of the coal resource development pathway
 2.6.2.6 Parameterisation
 2.6.2.7 Observations and predictions
 2.6.2.8 Uncertainty analysis
 2.6.2.9 Limitations and conclusions
 Citation
 Acknowledgements
 Currency of scientific results
 Contributors to the Technical Programme
 About this technical product