Modeling of coastal groundwater systems is a challenging problem due to their highly dynamic boundary conditions and the coupling between the equations for groundwater flow and solute transport. A growing number of publications on aquifers subject to tides have demonstrated various modeling approaches, ranging from analytical solutions to comprehensive numerical models. The United States Geological Survey code SEAWAT has been a popular choice in studies of this type. Although SEAWAT allows the incorporation of time-variant boundary conditions, the implementation of tidal boundaries is not straightforward, especially when a seepage face develops during falling tide. Here, a new package is presented, called the periodic boundary condition (PBC) package, that can be incorporated into MODFLOW and SEAWAT to overcome the difficulties encountered with tidal boundaries. It dynamically updates the boundary conditions for head and concentration during the simulation depending on a user-defined tidal signal and allows for the development of a seepage face. The package has been verified by comparing it to four different published models of tidally influenced groundwater systems of varying complexity. Excellent agreement was obtained in all cases. The new package is an important extension to the existing capabilities of MODFLOW and SEAWAT with respect to simulating periodic boundary conditions.
- Groundwater modeling