22-27 September 2019
Trade Fairs and Congress Center (FYCMA)
Europe/Madrid timezone

Physiographic and climatic controls on groundwater dynamics in Southern Germany

27 Sep 2019, 12:00
Multiuse room 3 ()

Multiuse room 3

Oral Topic 5.4 - Innovative approaches for understanding groundwater flow systems Parallel


Ezra Haaf (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)


The presented study analyses the relationship between temporal dynamics of local groundwater levels and climatic as well as physiographic controls. The analysis is based on observational data from 340 wells in Southern Germany with ten-year daily groundwater hydrographs. Wells tap confined and unconfined sand and gravel aquifers from mountain valleys to more extensive lowland alluvial aquifers. Groundwater dynamics at each location are summarized with 45 indices describing groundwater hydrograph features of structure, shape and distribution. Besides borehole log-derived geologic information, local and regional morphologic features, topography-derived boundary conditions as well as climatic descriptors were derived for each well. Correlation analysis was carried out between the indices and the 54 candidate controls (geologic, morphologic, boundary and climatic). These correlations allowed identifying indices and controls with the strongest relationship. Global regression relationships were established by mining the data for associations between dynamics and controls with forward stepwise regression. Models were selected using significance testing based on selective inference with selection-adjusted p-values. The study shows that groundwater dynamics are most strongly linked to geology and boundary conditions and secondarily to climate, but also to some morphologic features. Those multiple linear regression models with low to moderately high coefficient of determination (R2 = .2 - .6) are in agreement with general process understanding linked to groundwater dynamics. This systematic investigation of the relation between a large number of candidate controls and groundwater dynamics may provide guidance for prioritizing the study of controls on groundwater dynamics. Furthermore, the study suggests that statistical regionalization of groundwater dynamics in ungauged aquifers based on map-derived physiographic and climatic controls can be feasible.

Primary author

Ezra Haaf (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)


Benedikt Heudorfer (University of Birmingham, UK) Dr Markus Giese (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) Prof. Kerstin Stahl (University of Freiburg, Germany) Roland Barthel (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

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