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Subsurface dams in water resource management: methods for assessment and location
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Land and Water Resources Engineering. (Engineering Geology and Geophysics)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1736-0718
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 [en]
Subsurface dams, Groundwater, GIS, Regolith thickness, Groundwater
National Category
Water Engineering
Research subject
Civil and Architectural Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-181937ISBN: 978-91-7595-837-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-181937DiVA: diva2:902012
Public defence
2016-03-03, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160210

Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-02-09 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Locating suitable sites for the construction of subsurface dams using GIS
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Locating suitable sites for the construction of subsurface dams using GIS
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.

Keyword
Subsurface dam, GIS, Groundwater balance, Wetness index, Water supply
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-118565 (URN)10.1007/s12665-013-2295-1 (DOI)000326347900009 ()2-s2.0-84886794344 (Scopus ID)
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20131206

Available from: 2013-02-20 Created: 2013-02-20 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved
2. A spatial multi-criteria analysis approach for locating suitable sites for construction of subsurface dams in northern Pakistan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A spatial multi-criteria analysis approach for locating suitable sites for construction of subsurface dams in northern Pakistan
2014 (English)In: Water resources management, ISSN 0920-4741, E-ISSN 1573-1650, Vol. 28, no 14, 5157-5174 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pakistan is an agricultural country with an increasing interest for hydropower. Water management problems such as sedimentation and evaporation have been of high concern for surface water reservoirs for many years. Therefore, groundwater storage through subsurface dams could be promising, especially considering the monsoon rainfall and seasonal river flows in Pakistan. The paper aims to develop and test a methodology to locate suitable sites for construction of subsurface dams using spatial multi-criteria analysis (SMCA) in the northern parts of Pakistan. For the study, spatial data on geology, slope, land cover, soil depth and topographic wetness index (TWI) was used. Two weighting techniques, i.e. the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and the factor interaction method (FIM), were employed and compared. The sensitivity of the two methods as well as of the model parameters was analysed. The suitability map derived from AHP yielded about 3 % (16 km(2)) of the total area as most suitable, about 4 % (22 km(2)) as moderately suitable and about 0.8 % (5 km(2)) as least suitable. The suitability map derived from FIM identified about 2.7 % (14 km(2)) of the total area as most suitable, about 4 % (22 km(2)) as moderately suitable and about 1 % (7 km(2)) as least suitable. The sensitivity analyses suggested that AHP was a more robust weighting technique than FIM and that land cover was the most sensitive factor. The methodology presented here shows promising results and could be used in early planning to locate suitable sites for construction of subsurface dams.

Keyword
AHP, GIS, Groundwater, Pakistan, Spatial multi-criteria analysis, Subsurface dams
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-151039 (URN)10.1007/s11269-014-0800-2 (DOI)000343912300017 ()2-s2.0-84909992907 (Scopus ID)
Funder
StandUp
Note

QC 20141203

Available from: 2014-09-14 Created: 2014-09-14 Last updated: 2017-07-23Bibliographically approved
3. Groundwater flow model of a subsurface dam at Lillsved, Stockholm, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Groundwater flow model of a subsurface dam at Lillsved, Stockholm, Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-181941 (URN)
Note

QS 2016

Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-02-10 Last updated: 2016-02-10Bibliographically approved
4. Comparison of methods for predicting regolith thickness in previously glaciated terrain, Stockholm, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Comparison of methods for predicting regolith thickness in previously glaciated terrain, Stockholm, Sweden
Show others...
2014 (English)In: Geoderma, ISSN 0016-7061, E-ISSN 1872-6259, Vol. 226, 116-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Knowledge about regolith thickness is important in several civil and environmental engineering fields. However, subsurface characteristics such as regolith thickness are difficult to determine through surface investigations and maps at regional scales. This paper presents four methods for estimating regolith thickness in a GIS environment for previously glaciated terrain with high frequency of rock outcrops: linear regression (LR) using topographical covariates; inverse distance weighting (IOW) interpolation of regolith thickness point data from well drillings: a trigonometrical approach (TA) developed for this study which uses outcrop slopes and distance between outcrops; and a simplified regolith model (SRM). The SRM is a model modified from TA which estimates the regolith thickness based on outcrops, slopes and the distance to outcrops in eight directions. The methods were compared for three study areas (Tyreso, Vallentuna and Osteraker) in Stockholm County, Sweden. Based on the results in this paper, LR proved to be the most accurate method for regolith thickness estimation, measured through root mean square error values. Whereas IDW was the most accurate method in terms of error within 2 m, which would make it a suitable model if and when large datasets of regolith point data are available. When drilling data is scarce then both the TA and SRM methods can be used for regolith estimations. However, the SRM proved to be a more accurate regolith thickness model compared to TA. SRM shows promising results and could be used at a preliminary stage in engineering projects where little or no data is available prior to detailed field investigations in previously glaciated terrain.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-147399 (URN)10.1016/j.geoderma.2014.03.003 (DOI)000336467500013 ()2-s2.0-84897441618 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Formas, 2009-1285
Note

QC 20140702

Available from: 2014-07-02 Created: 2014-06-27 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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