Environmental Geology

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 57–67 | Cite as

Influence of numerical precision on the calibration of AEM-based groundwater flow models

  • A. J. Rabideau
  • L. S. Matott
  • I. Jankovic
  • J. R. Craig
  • M. W. Becker
Original Article


Groundwater modelers have embraced the use of automated calibration tools based on classical nonlinear regression techniques. While clearly an improvement over trial-and-error calibration, it is not clear to what extent these popular inverse modeling tools yield accurate parameter sets for groundwater flow models. The impact of model configuration and precision upon automated parameter estimation is also unclear. An extensive set of numerical experiments was performed to explore the influence of model configuration on the calibration of a regional groundwater flow model developed using the analytic element method. The results provided insight into the manner in which the specified level of model precision and the location of observation points influence the results of inverse modeling based on nonlinear regression. While the importance of these issues is application-specific, obtaining an accurate model calibration for the case study required both a careful placement of test observations and a greater-than-anticipated level of model precision. The required level of model precision for calibration was more than necessary to produce an acceptable flow solution.


Groundwater Analytic element modeling Calibration USA New York state 



This research has been supported by Grant# R82-7961 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program. This paper has not been subjected to any EPA review and therefore does not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency, and no official endorsement should be inferred. L. Shawn Matott and James Craig were supported by the National Science Foundation Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) program in Geographic Information Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Rabideau
    • 1
  • L. S. Matott
    • 1
  • I. Jankovic
    • 1
  • J. R. Craig
    • 1
  • M. W. Becker
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental EngineeringUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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