"Capture" is the increase in recharge and the decrease in discharge that occurs when pumping is imposed on an aquifer system that was in a previous state of approximate dynamic equilibrium. Regional groundwater models are usually used to calculate capture in a two-step procedure. A steady-state solution provides an initial-head configuration, a set of flows through the boundaries for the modeled region, and the initial basis for the capture calculation. The transient solutions provide the total change in flows through the boundaries. A difference between the transient and steady-state solutions renders the capture calculation. When seasonality is a modeling issue, the use of a single initial hydraulic head and a single set of boundary flows leads to miscalculations of capture. Instead, an initial condition for each season should be used. This approach may be accomplished by determining steady oscillatory solutions, which vary through the seasons but repeat from year to year. A regional groundwater model previously developed for a portion of the San Pedro River basin, Arizona, USA, is modified to illustrate the effect that different initial conditions have on transient solutions and on capture calculations.
- Groundwater development
- Groundwater/surface-water relations
- Numerical modeling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)