Stream-aquifer interactions: Evaluation of depletion volume and residual effects from ground water pumping

Xunhong Chen, Longcang Shu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Numerical modeling techniques were used to simulate stream-aquifer interactions from seasonal ground water pumping. We used stream-aquifer models in which a shallow stream penetrates the top of an aquifer that discharges ground water to the stream as base flow. Because of the pumping, the volume of base flow discharged to the stream was reduced, and as the pumping continued, infiltration from the stream to the aquifer was induced. Both base-flow reduction and stream infiltration contributed to total stream depletion. We analyzed the depletion rates and volumes of the reduced base flow and induced stream infiltration during pumping and postpumping periods. Our results suggested that for a shallow penetrating stream with a low streambed conductance, base-flow reduction accounts for a significant percentage of the total stream depletion. Its residual effects in postpumping can last very long and may continue into the next pumping season for areas where recharge is nominal. In contrast, the contribution of the induced stream infiltration to the total stream depletion is much smaller, and its effects often become negligible shortly after pumping was stopped. For areas where surface recharge replenishes the aquifer, the residual effects of base-flow reduction and thus its depletion volume will be significantly reduced. A stream of large conductance has a high hydraulic connection to the aquifer, but the relationship between stream conductance and stream depletion is not linear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-290
Number of pages7
JournalGround Water
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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