**Groundwater in SWMM5**

Aquifers |

**Aquifers** are sub-surface groundwater zones used to model the vertical movement of water infiltrating from the subcatchments that lie above them. They also permit the infiltration of groundwater into the drainage system, or exfiltration of surface water from the drainage system, depending on the hydraulic gradient that exists. Aquifers are only required in models that need to explicitly account for the exchange of groundwater with the drainage system or to establish baseflow and recession curves in natural channels and non-urban systems.

The parameters of an aquifer object can be shared by several subcatchments but there is no exchange of groundwater between subcatchments. A drainage system node can exchange groundwater with more than one subcatchment.

Aquifers are represented using two zones - an un-saturated zone and a saturated zone. Their behavior is characterized using such parameters as soil porosity, hydraulic conductivity, evapotranspiration depth, bottom elevation, and loss rate to deep groundwater. In addition, the initial water table elevation and initial moisture content of the unsaturated zone must be supplied.

Aquifers are connected to subcatchments and to drainage system nodes as defined in a subcatchment's Groundwater Flow property. This property also contains parameters that govern the rate of groundwater flow between the aquifer's saturated zone and the drainage system node.

**See Also**

Aquifer Editor |

The **Aquifer Editor** is invoked whenever a new Aquifer object is created or an exisitng Aquifer object is selected for editing. It contains the following data fields:

**Name**

User-assigned aquifer name.

**Porosity**

Volume of voids / total soil volume (volumetric fraction).

**Wilting Point**

Soil moisture content at which plants cannot survive (volumetric fraction).

**Field Capacity**

Soil moisture content after all free water has drained off (volumetric fraction).

**Conductivity**

Soil's saturated hydraulic conductivity (in/hr or mm/hr).

**Conductivity Slope**

Average slope of log(conductivity) versus soil moisture deficit (i.e., porosity minus moisture content) curve (unitless).

**Tension Slope**

Average slope of soil tension versus soil moisture content curve (inches or mm).

**Upper Evaporation Fraction**

Fraction of total evaporation available for evapotranspiration in the upper unsaturated zone.

**Lower Evaporation Depth**

Maximum depth below the surface at which evapotranspiration from the lower saturated zone can still occur (ft or m).

**Lower Groundwater Loss Rate**

Rate of percolation to deep groundwater when the water table reaches the ground surface (in/hr or mm/hr).

**Bottom Elevation**

Elevation of the bottom of the aquifer (ft or m).

**Water Table Elevation**

Elevation of the water table in the aquifer at the start of the simulation (ft or m).

**Unsaturated Zone Moisture**

Moisture content of the unsaturated upper zone of the aquifer at the start of the simulation (volumetric fraction) (cannot exceed soil porosity).

**Upper Evaporation Pattern**

The name of a monthly time pattern used to adjust the Upper Evaporation Fraction for different months of the year. Leave blank if not applicable.

Groundwater Flow Editor |

The **Groundwater Flow Editor** dialog is invoked when the Groundwater property of a Subcatchment is being edited. It is used to link a subcatchment to both a parent aquifer and to a node of the conveyance system that exchanges groundwater with the subcatchment. It also specifies coefficients that determine the rate of lateral groundwater flow between the aquifer and the node. These coefficients (A1, A2, B1, B2, and A3) appear in the following equation that computes lateral groundwater flow as a function of groundwater and surface water levels:

QL = A1(HGW - HCB)B1 - A2(HSW - HCB)B2 + A3(HGW HSW)

where QL = lateral groundwater flow (cfs per acre or cms per hectare), HGW = height of saturated zone above bottom of aquifer (ft or m), HSW = height of surface water at receiving node above aquifer bottom (ft or m), and HCB = height of channel bottom above aquifer bottom (ft or m). Note that QL can also be expressed in inches/hr for US units.

The rate of seepage to deep groundwater, QD, in in/hr (or mm/hr) is given by the following equation:

QD = LGLR * HGW / HGS

where LGLR is the lower groundwater loss rate parameter assigned to the subcatchment's aquifer (in/hr or mm/hr) and HGS is the distance from the ground surface to the aquifer bottom (ft or m).

In addition to the standard lateral flow equation, the dialog allows one to define a custom equation whose results will be added onto those of the standard equation. One can also define a custom equation for deep groundwater flow that will replace the standard one. Finally, the dialog offers the option to override certain parameters that were specified for the aquifer to which the subcatchment belongs. The properties listed in the editor are as follows:

**Aquifer Name**

Name of the aquifer object that describes the subsurface soil properties, thickness, and initial conditions. Leave this field blank if you want the subcatchment not to generate any groundwater flow.

**Receiving Node**

Name of the node that receives groundwater from the subcatchment.

**Surface Elevation**

Elevation of the subcatchment's ground surface (ft or m).

**Groundwater Flow Coefficient**

Value of A1 in the groundwater flow formula.

**Groundwater Flow Exponent**

Value of B1 in the groundwater flow formula.

**Surface Water Flow Coefficient**

Value of A2 in the groundwater flow formula.

**Surface Water Flow Exponent**

Value of B2 in the groundwater flow formula.

**Surface-GW Interaction Coefficient**

Value of A3 in the groundwater flow formula.

**Surface Water Depth (HSW - HCB)**

Fixed depth of surface water above the receiving node's invert (ft or m). Set to zero if surface water depth will vary as computed by flow routing.

**Threshold Water Table Elevation (EB + HCB)**

Minimum water table elevation that must be reached before any flow occurs (feet or meters). Leave blank to use the receiving node's invert elevation.

**Aquifer Bottom Elevation (EB)**

Elevation of the bottom of the aquifer below this particular subcatchment (ft or m). Leave blank to use the value from the parent aquifer.

**Initial Water Table Elevation (EB + HGW)**

Initial water table elevation at the start of the simulation for this particular subcatchment (ft or m). Leave blank to use the value from the parent aquifer.

**Unsaturated Zone Moisture**

Moisture content of the unsaturated upper zone above the water table for this particular subcatchment at the start of the simulation (volumetric fraction). Leave blank to use the value from the parent aquifer.

**Custom Lateral Flow Equation**

Click the ellipsis button (or press Enter) to launch the Custom Groundwater Flow Equation editor for lateral groundwater flow (QL). The equation supplied by this editor will be used in addition to the standard equation to compute groundwater outflow from the subcatchment.

**Custom Deep Flow Equation**

Click the ellipsis button (or press Enter) to launch the Custom Groundwater Flow Equation editor for deep groundwater flow (QD). The equation supplied by this editor will be used to replace the standard equation for deep groundwater flow.

The coefficients supplied to the lateral groundwater flow equations must be in units that are consistent with the groundwater flow units, which can either be cfs/acre (equivalent to inches/hr) for US units or cms/ha for SI units.

To completely replace the standard lateral groundwater flow equation with the custom equation, set all of the standard equation coefficients to 0. |

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