Groundwater Flow Model
A groundwater flow model is a mathematical representation of groundwater flow through an aquifer, which is composed of saturated sediment and rock. In order to solve the equations that constitute the flow model, it is necessary to make simplified assumptions about the aquifer and the physical processes governing groundwater flow. The most important of these assumptions are embodied in the conceptual model of the aquifer. Although the groundwater flow model cannot be as detailed or as complex as the real system, the model is useful in at least four ways: (1) the model integrates and assures consistency among aquifer properties, recharge, discharge, and groundwater levels; (2) the model can be used to estimate flows and aquifer characteristics for which direct measurements are not available; (3) the model can be used to simulate response of the aquifer under hypothetical conditions; and (4) the model can identify sensitive areas where additional hydrologic information could improve understanding.