Bill X. Hu
Florida State University, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Groundwater flow in a well developed karst aquifer dominantly occurs through bedding planes, fractures, conduits, and caves created by and/or enlarged by dissolution. Conventional groundwater modeling methods are inapplicable due to the dual porosity present in the aquifer, and Darcian principles often do not apply to flow through conduits. Dr. Hu and his colleagues have developed new mathematical and numerical modeling approaches in the last several years to simulate groundwater flow and solute transport in the dual-porous media. The Darcy's law is still applied to simulate groundwater flow in matrix, but pipe flow or Navier-Stokes equation is applied to simulate the flow in conduits. Several approaches are developed to model the water exchange between the matrix and conduits. The developed models are tested by a laboratory experiment, and applied to a regional karst flow field. The modeling results indicate the new modeling methods significantly improve groundwater flow and solute transport processes in karst aquifers.