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Material properties changes


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Hi All,

I am in the planning phase for a groundwater flow model of an underground mine dewatering project to evaluate mine inflows and effect on water resources in the area of the proposed mine. The mine plan consists of using paste backfill throughout all of the stopes. It is estimated that the hydraulic conductivity of the paste back fill will be 2-3 orders of magnitude lower than the native rock (storage will also change). I have worked with models that implement changing material properties by use of cascading models (export heads from transient model run, change material properties and run next stress period and repeat). This is tedious and I have never been too comfortable with the stability of the model between the model runs as you are not importing steady state heads into the next model.

I would like to use MODFLOW to complete this analysis, but have concerns with drying up cells (which I hope will be better with MODFLOW-USG using the NWT re-wetting) and stability of model between model runs.

Can anyone give advice as to MODFLOW being appropriate to conduct this analysis or if there are alternatives to using a cascading model approach in MODFLOW?

I know this could be modeled using a finite element-variably saturated flow model in FEFLOW, but for many reasons (one being the client does not want to go there) I would like to avoid it if I can.

Thank you for any input in advance. - Greg

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