Project

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Integrating novel measurements of dissolved gases with hydrogeological modelling

Applicant Schilling Oliver
Number 171985
Funding scheme Early Postdoc.Mobility
Research institution Département de Géologie et de Génie géologique Université Laval
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.08.2017 - 31.01.2019
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All Disciplines (5)

Discipline
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Geology
Geochemistry
Other disciplines of Earth Sciences

Keywords (7)

groundwater residence times; groundwater sources; data worth; dissolved gas analysis; portable mass spectrometer; integrated surface water-groundwater modelling; model calibration

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Ein Verständnis über die überaus komplexen Interaktionen zwischen Grundwasser und Oberflächengewässer gehört zu den wichtigsten Eckpfeilern eines erfolgreichen Managements von Grundwasser-Pumpstationen die der Trinkwasserversorgung dienen. Grundwasser-Fliessmodelle sind ein unverzichtbares Instrument um solche Interaktionen zu quantifizieren und gute Vorhersagen machen zu können. Für eine ausreichend gute Kalibrierung eines Grundwasser-Modells fehlt es allerdings meistens an einer guten und ausreichenden Datengrundlage. Die kürzliche Entwicklung eines portablen Massenspektrometers für die Messung gelöster Gase im (Grund)Wasser eröffnet eine vielversprechende neue Datenquelle um Interaktionen zwischen Oberflächen- und Grundwasser zu quantifizieren. Das Ziel dieses Forschungsprojektes ist die Entwicklung einer effizienten Methode zur Integration von Gasmessungen in die Kalibrierung von Grundwasser-Modelle, sowie die damit verbundene Verbesserung von Modellvorhersagen.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts

Das übergeordnete Ziel dieses Forschungsprojektes ist die Verbesserung von Vorhersagen die mit Grundwasser-Fliessmodelle gemacht werden, beispielsweise über die zukünftige Entwicklung von Grundwasserständen und Grundwasserqualität bei einer Trinkwasserfassung. Im Detail werden (i) in einem experimentellen Einzugsgebiet im Forêt Montmorency Wald in Quebec mithilfe eines neuartigen portablen Massenspektrometers Messungen gelöster Gase aus dem Grundwasser und aus Oberflächengewässer gemacht, (ii) die gemessenen O2, CO2, CH4, N2, Ar, Kr, und He Gassignaturen auf ihre Anwendungsmöglichkeit für die Quantifizierung von Fluss-Grundwasserinteraktionen analysiert, (iii) das Einzugsgebiet mithilfe numerischer Methoden simuliert, (iv) eine Methode für die Modell-Kalibrierung mit Gasmessungen als zusätzliche Datengrundlage entwickelt, und (iv) die Verbesserung von Modellvoraussagen durch Integration der Gasmessungen abgeschätzt.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext des Forschungsprojekts

Meine Arbeit wird es erlauben, mithilfe modernster und portabler Messtechnologie, die zudem zu einem Bruchteil der bisherigen Kosten stationärer Technologien erhältlich ist, die Vorhersagefähigkeit von Grundwasser-Fliessmodellen zu verbessern. Gute Vorhersagen über die Grundwasserverfügbarkeit und Grundwasserqualität sind von enormer Bedeutung für Grundwasser-Pumpstationen die der Trinkwasserversorgung dienen. Die Ergebnisse werden verbessertes Grundwassermonitoring ermöglichen, und zudem bessere Entscheidungen für die Erschliessung neuer, aber auch das Management bestehender, Grundwasser-Trinkwasseranlagen erlauben.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 24.05.2017

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Publications

Publication
Does Data Availability Constrain Temperature-Index Snow Models? A Case Study in a Humid Boreal Forest
Parajuli Achut, Nadeau Daniel F., Anctil François, Schilling Oliver S., Jutras Sylvain (2020), Does Data Availability Constrain Temperature-Index Snow Models? A Case Study in a Humid Boreal Forest, in Water, 12(8), 2284-2284.
Beyond classical observations in hydrogeology: The advantages of including exchange flux, temperature, tracer concentration, residence time and soil moisture observations in groundwater model calibration
Schilling Oliver S., Cook Peter G., Brunner Philip (2019), Beyond classical observations in hydrogeology: The advantages of including exchange flux, temperature, tracer concentration, residence time and soil moisture observations in groundwater model calibration, in Reviews of Geophysics, 1-51.
Simulating flood induced riverbed transience using unmanned aerial vehicles, physically-based hydrological modelling and the ensemble Kalman filter
Tang Qi, Schilling Oliver S., Kurtz Wolfgang, Brunner Philip, Vereecken Harry, Hendricks Franssen Harrie-Jan (2018), Simulating flood induced riverbed transience using unmanned aerial vehicles, physically-based hydrological modelling and the ensemble Kalman filter, in Water Resources Research, 54(7), 1.
Integrated Surface and Subsurface Hydrological Modeling with Snowmelt and Pore Water Freeze-Thaw
Schilling Oliver S., Park Young-Jin, Therrien René, Nagare Ranjeet M. (2018), Integrated Surface and Subsurface Hydrological Modeling with Snowmelt and Pore Water Freeze-Thaw, in Groundwater, 57(1), 1-12.
Topsoil structure stability in a restored floodplain: Impacts of fluctuating water levels, soil parameters and ecosystem engineers
Schomburg A., Schilling O.S., Guenat C., Schirmer M., Le Bayon R.C., Brunner P. (2018), Topsoil structure stability in a restored floodplain: Impacts of fluctuating water levels, soil parameters and ecosystem engineers, in Science of The Total Environment, 639, 1610-1622.
Advancing Physically-Based Flow Simulations of Alluvial Systems Through Atmospheric Noble Gases and the Novel 37Ar Tracer Method
Schilling Oliver S., Gerber Christoph, Partington Daniel J., Purtschert Roland, Brennwald Matthias S., Kipfer Rolf, Hunkeler Daniel, Brunner Philip (2017), Advancing Physically-Based Flow Simulations of Alluvial Systems Through Atmospheric Noble Gases and the Novel 37Ar Tracer Method, in Water Resources Research, 1.
Estimating the Spatial Extent of Unsaturated Zones in Heterogeneous River-Aquifer Systems
Schilling Oliver S., Irvine Dylan J., Hendricks Franssen Harrie-Jan, Brunner Philip (2017), Estimating the Spatial Extent of Unsaturated Zones in Heterogeneous River-Aquifer Systems, in Water Resources Research, 53(12), 1.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Prof. Dr. Peter Cook, National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, Flinders University Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Koji Mori, Blue Earth Security Japan (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Prof. Dr. William Simpkins, Geological And Atmospheric Sciences, Iowa State University United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Kenji Kato, Geomicrobial Ecology Lab, Shizuoka University Japan (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. Rolf Kipfer, Abteilung Wasserresourcen und Trinkwasser, EAWAG Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr. Sylvain Jutras, Hydrologie forestière, Université laval Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Prof. Dr René Therrien, Département de géologie et de génie géologique, Université Laval Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Dr. Young-Jin Park, Aquanty Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Prof. Dr. François Anctil, Génie des eaux, Université Laval Canada (North America)
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
GSA Annual Meeting Talk given at a conference SIMULATING NITRATE TRANSPORT IN FRACTURED TILL INCLUDING TILE DRAINAGE: PRELIMINARY RESULTS 04.11.2018 Indianapolis, United States of America Schilling Oliver;
Goldschmidt Conference Poster Quantifying the contribution of snowmelt to groundwater recharge with portable mass spectrometry-based dissolved gas analysis 12.08.2018 Boston, United States of America Schilling Oliver;
Computational Methods in Water Resources Conference Poster Closing the conceptual gap between the hyporheic zone and the river corridor 05.06.2018 St. Malo, France Schilling Oliver;
Computational methods in Water Resources Conference Talk given at a conference A groundwater model as a benchmark for a fully-integrated supra-regional-scale hydrological modeling 05.06.2018 St. Malo, France Schilling Oliver;


Awards

Title Year
Goldschmidt Conference 2018, Best Poster Award, Session 13i 2018
International Association of Hydrogeologists, Nomination as Associate Editor 2018

Abstract

Surface water-groundwater systems are governed by complex interactions. It is important for us to understand these interactions, as a majority of our drinking water resources come from groundwater pumped in the vicinity of surface water bodies. These drinking water resources are closely linked to the dynamics of the connected surface water bodies, and moreover, with a changing climate the dynamics are changing. To guarantee the safety and sustainability of one of our most important drinking water resources, these complex, connected systems need to be well understood. In order to quantify the exchange fluxes between these two water bodies, observations of many different kinds, as well as integrated hydrological models, are required. More often than not, only one type of observations is available, and the ‘classical’ observations of hydraulic head and surface water discharge are the only basis on which numerical models are calibrated. The information content in these ‘classical’ observations, however, is not sufficient to characterize the exchanged volumes of water, and thus to fully describe the water balance of the surface water-groundwater system. For this, direct observations of exchange fluxes, as well as observations of residence times, mixing processes and groundwater origins, would be required. Current methods to obtain such observations are often expensive, time consuming, not applicable in every system, and require a lot of expertise. A new instrument has the potential to close this gap and revolutionize how we characterize surface water-groundwater systems: A novel portable mass spectrometer for the analysis of dissolved gases directly in the field. With this instrument, one can measure the dissolved gases in groundwater continuously and at high temporal resolution directly in the field (currently around one measurement every 10min). This allows analysing residence times and mixing processes, as well as determining the origins of groundwater, at a never before seen spatial and temporal resolution. In this SNSF early postdoc.mobility fellowship, I would like to develop a method that integrates measurements of dissolved gases into complex, physically-based numerical modelling in order to characterize surface water-groundwater interactions. For this purpose, I plan to visit and work with Prof. René Therrien and his group at Université Laval, who are leading experts in integrated surface water-groundwater systems' modelling. Prof. Therrien is the principal developer of HydroGeoSphere, a ground-breaking modelling code, that finally allowed integrating all the different hydrological processes into one simulator. Observations of residence times and mixing processes made with the portable mass spectrometer in a well-documented, experimental research catchment are going to be used to calibrate a HydroGeoSphere model of the catchment. By comparing the model calibrated with classical observations, against the model calibrated with the classical data plus measurements of dissolved gases, the information content in terms of the potential to reduce the predictive uncertainty of the model, that is, the data worth, of the novel observations is going to be quantified. I desire to develop a new method that uses classical observations in combination with observations obtained with the portable mass spectrometer to calibrate surface water-groundwater models. Ultimately, I plan to publish this method in a peer-reviewed journal. This project would allow me to learn from the leading experts of integrated hydrogeological modelling, and would put myself at the forefront of the evolution of surface water-groundwater science. Furthermore, it would enable me to substantially extend my international network. This early postdoc.mobility fellowship would optimally prepare me with expertise and an international network in order to pursue an academic career in Switzerland.
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