Laboratory Experiments for Calibrating Flow Exchange Coefficient of MODFLOW CFP1

  • Roger B. Pacheco CastroEmail author
  • Ming Ye
  • Xiaohu Tao
  • Hongyuan Wang
  • Jian Zhao
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Karst Science book series (AKS)


A sandbox device was developed to test MODFLOW CFP1 under various conditions. The experiment represents a three-dimensional confined karst aquifer. MODFLOW CFP1 is a public-domain software developed by the US Geological Survey that is becoming popular for the simulation of karst hybrid models. Since geometry and hydraulic parameters of the matrix and conduit related to the experiments can be measured accurately, this study is focused on the flow exchange coefficient used by MODFLOW CFP1 to simulate the flow exchange between matrix and conduits of karst aquifers. The flow exchange coefficient is commonly calibrated given our limited knowledge of the underground system. In this work, we discuss the issues encountered during the calibration of this coefficient. It was found that the calibrated parameter values depend on the direction of the flow exchange something that is not considered in the current definition of this parameter. The calibration also revealed the structural inadequacy of the linear model used in MODFLOW CFP1 for simulating the flow exchange. These results are useful for further evaluation of MODFLOW CFP1 at laboratory and field scales.


Sandbox Karst flow modeling Model error 



The first author was supported by the Fulbright Scholarship for his dissertation research at the Florida State University. The laboratory experiment was supported by a travel grant from the Hohai University. The second author was supported in part by National Science Foundation grant EAR-1828827.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger B. Pacheco Castro
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ming Ye
    • 2
  • Xiaohu Tao
    • 3
  • Hongyuan Wang
    • 3
  • Jian Zhao
    • 3
  1. 1.Sisal Academic Unit, Institute of EngineeringNational Autonomous University of MexicoYucatánMexico
  2. 2.Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric ScienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower EngineeringHohai UniversityNanjingChina

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