Evaluation of methods for estimating aquifer hydraulic parameters

S. M. Bateni, M. Mortazavi-Naeini, B. Ataie-Ashtiani, D. S. Jeng, R. Khanbilvardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


An accurate estimation of aquifer hydraulic parameters is required for groundwater modeling and proper management of vital groundwater resources. In situ measurements of aquifer hydraulic parameters are expensive and difficult. Traditionally, these parameters have been estimated by graphical methods that are approximate and time-consuming. As a result, nonlinear programming (NLP) techniques have been used extensively to estimate them. Despite the outperformance of NLP approaches over graphical methods, they tend to converge to local minima and typically suffer from a convergence problem. In this study, Genetic Algorithm (GA) and Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) methods are used to identify hydraulic parameters (i.e., storage coefficient, hydraulic conductivity, transmissivity, specific yield, and leakage factor) of three types of aquifers namely, confined, unconfined, and leaky from real time-drawdown pumping test data. The performance of GA and ACO is also compared with that of graphical and NLP techniques. The results show that both GA and ACO are efficient, robust, and reliable for estimating various aquifer hydraulic parameters from the time-drawdown data and perform better than the graphical and NLP techniques. The outcomes also indicate that the accuracy of GA and ACO is comparable. Comparing the running time of various utilized methods illustrates that ACO converges to the optimal solution faster than other techniques, while the graphical method has the highest running time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Soft Computing Journal
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Ant colony optimization (ACO)
  • Aquifer hydraulic parameters
  • Genetic algorithm (GA)
  • Nonlinear programming (NLP)
  • Pumping test


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