Simulation of Lake-Groundwater Interaction under Steady-State Flow

Chuiyu Lu, Bo Zhang, Xin He, Guoliang Cao, Qingyan Sun, Lingjia Yan, Tao Qin, Tianchen Li, Zepeng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


MODFLOW is one of the most popular groundwater simulation tools available; however, the development of lake modules that can be coupled with MODFLOW is lacking apart from the LAK3 package. This study proposes a new approach for simulating lake-groundwater interaction under steady-state flow, referred to as the sloping lakebed method (SLM). In this new approach, discretization of the lakebed in the vertical direction is independent of the spatial discretization of the aquifer system, which can potentially solve the problem that the lake and groundwater are usually simulated at different scales. The lakebed is generalized by a slant at the bottom of each lake grid cell, which can be classified as fully submerged, dry, and partly submerged. The SLM method accounts for all lake sources and sinks, establishing a governing equation that can be solved using Newton's method. A benchmarking case study was conducted using a modified model setup in the LAK3 user manual. It was found that when there is a sufficient number of layers at the top of the groundwater model, SLM simulates an almost identical groundwater head as the LAK3-based model; when the number of layers decreases, SLM is unaffected while LAK3 may be at a risk of giving unrealistic results. Additionally, the SLM can reflect the relationship between the simulated lake surface area and lake water depth more accurately. Therefore, the SLM method is a promising alternative to the LAK3 package when simulating lake-groundwater interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-99
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


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