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Locating suitable sites for the construction of subsurface dams using GIS
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1736-0718
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1640-8946
2013 (English)In: Environmental Earth Sciences, ISSN 1866-6280, Vol. 70, no 6, 2511-2525 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Subsurface dams constitute an affordable and effective method for the sustainable development and management of groundwater resources when constructed on suitable sites. Such dams have rarely been constructed in crystalline rock areas and to best of our knowledge, geographic information system (GIS) has never been used in any methodology for locating suitable sites for constructing these dams. This paper presents a new methodology to locate suitable sites for the construction of subsurface dams using GIS software supported by groundwater balance modelling in a study area Boda-Kalvsvik, Sweden. Groundwater resources were calculated based on digitized geological data and assumptions regarding stratigraphic layering taken from well archive data and geological maps. These estimates were then compared with future extractions for domestic water supply using a temporally dynamic water balance model. Suitability analyses for subsurface dams were based on calculated topographic wetness index (TWI) values and geological data, including stratigraphic information. Groundwater balance calculations indicated that many of the most populated areas were susceptible to frequent water supply shortages. Of the 34 sub-catchments within the study area: ten were over-extracted, nine did not have any water supply demand at all, one was self-sufficient and the remaining 14 were able to meet the water supply demand with surplus storage capacity. Six suitable sites for the construction of subsurface dams were suggested in the vicinity of the over-extracted sites based on suitability analysis and groundwater balance estimates. The new methodology shows encouraging results for regions with humid climate but having limited natural water storage capacities. The developed methodology can be used as a preliminary planning step for subsurface dam construction, establishing a base for more detailed field investigations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 70, no 6, 2511-2525 p.
Keyword [en]
Subsurface dam, GIS, Groundwater balance, Wetness index, Water supply
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-118565DOI: 10.1007/s12665-013-2295-1ISI: 000326347900009Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84886794344OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-118565DiVA: diva2:606866
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StandUp
Note

QC 20131206

Available from: 2013-02-20 Created: 2013-02-20 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Subsurface dams in water resource management: methods for assessment and location
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Subsurface dams in water resource management: methods for assessment and location
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Natural groundwater storage can be improved by constructing a subsurface barrier that is a subsurface dam, in order to capture the subsurface flows and raise the groundwater levels (GWLs) in the sediment layers. Subsurface dams are preferable to surface dams because of lower evaporation, higher functionality, lower cost of construction, lessened risk for contamination and the possibility of utilizing land over the dam. Therefore subsurface dams constitute an affordable and effective method for the sustainable development and management of groundwater resources. The aim of this research project was to develop and test methods for the assessment and location of subsurface dams in water resources management. From previous experiences it has been established that locating suitable sites for construction of subsurface dams plays an important role in the overall success of these dams. Therefore, in order to locate suitable sites, two approaches were followed. The first was the Boolean approach using topographical, geological and landcover data in a geographic information system (GIS) environment for a previously glaciated terrain near Stockholm. The results of the Boolean approach were complemented by a groundwater balance model and a topographic wetness index (TWI). The second approach involved spatial multi-criteria analysis (SMCA) applied to a region with different geological and hydrological conditions. SMCA was applied in Northern Pakistan using factors such as topography, geology, landcover, soil thickness and TWI. Two weighting techniques, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and the factor interaction method (FIM), were employed and compared. The Factor removal technique was employed to assess the sensitivity of the model for each factor. Aquifer thickness is an important factor while planning subsurface dams and data regarding the soil thickness is often not available at larger scale. Therefore a simplified regolith model (SRM) was developed for estimating the regolith thickness in previously glaciated terrain with a high frequency of rock outcrops, based on a digital elevation model (DEM) and an optimized outcrop search algorithm. In order to analyse the dynamics of the groundwater flow, a transient 3D groundwater flow model was developed for a subsurface dam. Methods applied to locate suitable sites for the construction of subsurface dams showed some promising results and need to be applied and tested in areas with different hydrological and geological conditions. The Boolean approach is a simple method that could be used during early planning stages for locating suitable sites for the construction of subsurface dams. The SMCA framework enabled the integration of knowledge for decision making, where the weights had a more significant influence on the results than the choice of the weighting method. AHP was considered to be the more robust model for assigning weights in this study. The factor removal technique showed that the modeling results were least sensitive to soil depth and most sensitive to land cover for the construction of subsurface dams. SRM showed reasonable results and could be used in engineering projects prior to detailed field investigations in formally glaciated terrain when borehole data is not available. The groundwater flow modelling results helped to develop some sustainable pumping scenarios to demonstrate the benefits of the subsurface dam. Groundwater flow model results also facilitated the selection of a suitable site for placing a subsurface dam in order to maximize the groundwater storage upstream. It was concluded in this project that the subsurface dams could sustainably be used to mitigate the water supply issues in formerly glaciated humid terrain such as in Sweden and dry climatic areas such as in Pakistan. Moreover, subsurface dams can play an important role in water resources management in coastal areas of formerly glaciated terrain, where saltwater intrusion is a rising environmental issue. Also in dry climatic areas like in Pakistan, methods such as SMCA could make the planning step more robust before the actual construction of dams. Themethods and findings presented in this thesis can be considered to be one tentative step of scientific contribution for better analysis, assessment and the location of subsurface dams.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. xiv, 38 p.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 2016:01
Keyword
Subsurface dams, Groundwater, GIS, Regolith thickness, Groundwater
National Category
Water Engineering
Research subject
Civil and Architectural Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-181937 (URN)978-91-7595-837-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-03-03, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
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Supervisors
Note

QC 20160210

Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-02-09 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved

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Jamali, Imran AliMörtberg, Ulla

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