Application of maximum likelihood Bayesian model averaging to groundwater flow and transport at the Hanford Site 300 area

Philip D. Meyer, Ming Ye, Shlomo P. Neuman, Mark L. Rockhold

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A methodology to systematically and quantitatively assess model predictive uncertainty was applied to saturated zone uranium transport at the 300 Area of the US Department of Energy Hanford Site in Washington State, USA. The methodology extends Maximum Likelihood Bayesian Model Averaging (MLBMA) to account jointly for uncertainties due to the conceptual-mathematical basis of models, model parameters, and the scenarios to which the models are applied. Conceptual uncertainty was represented by postulating four alternative models of hydrogeology and uranium adsorption. Parameter uncertainties were represented by estimation covariances resulting from the joint calibration of each model to observed heads and uranium concentration. Posterior model probability was dominated by one model. Results demonstrated the role of model complexity and fidelity to observed system behaviour in determining model probabilities, as well as the impact of prior information. Two scenarios representing alternative future behaviour of the Columbia River adjacent to the site were considered. Predictive simulations carried out with the calibrated models illustrated the computation of model- and scenario-averaged predictions and how results can be displayed to clearly indicate the individual contributions to predictive uncertainty of the model, parameter, and scenario uncertainties. The application demonstrated the practicability of applying a comprehensive uncertainty assessment to large-scale, detailed groundwater flow and transport modelling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of an International Conference on Calibration and Reliability in Groundwater Modelling
Subtitle of host publicationCredibility of Modelling, ModelCARE2007
Pages64-69
Number of pages6
Edition320
StatePublished - Nov 7 2008
EventInternational Conference on Calibration and Reliability in Groundwater Modelling: Credibility of Modelling, ModelCARE2007 - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: Sep 9 2007Sep 13 2007

Publication series

NameIAHS-AISH Publication
Number320
ISSN (Print)0144-7815

Other

OtherInternational Conference on Calibration and Reliability in Groundwater Modelling: Credibility of Modelling, ModelCARE2007
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period9/9/079/13/07

Keywords

  • Groundwater
  • Modelling
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Meyer, P. D., Ye, M., Neuman, S. P., & Rockhold, M. L. (2008). Application of maximum likelihood Bayesian model averaging to groundwater flow and transport at the Hanford Site 300 area. In Proceedings of an International Conference on Calibration and Reliability in Groundwater Modelling: Credibility of Modelling, ModelCARE2007 (320 ed., pp. 64-69). (IAHS-AISH Publication; No. 320).