We present a set of continuous discharge potentials that can be used to determine the vertically integrated flow in stratified aquifers. The method applies to cases where the boundaries are vertical and either the hydraulic head is given, or the boundary is a seepage face, or the integrated discharge is given. The approach is valid for cases of given recharge through the upper and/or lower boundaries of the aquifer. The method is valid for any values of hydraulic conductivity; there are no limitations of the contrast for the method to be valid. The flows in the strata may be either confined or unconfined, and locally perched conditions may exist, but the effect of capillarity is not included. The hydraulic head is determined by applying the Dupuit-Forchheimer approximation. The main advantage of the approach is that very complex conditions in stratified aquifer systems, including locally perched conditions and extremely complex flow systems can be treated in a relatively straight forward approach by considering only the vertically integrated flow rates. The approach is particularly useful for assessing groundwater sustainability, as a model to be constructed prior to developing a fully three-dimensional numerical model.
- Comprehensive discharge
- Comprehensive potential
- Dupuit-Forchheimer approximation
- Perched conditions
- Vertically integrated flow