Territory Stories

Development of a Groundwater Model for the Western Davenport Plains



Development of a Groundwater Model for the Western Davenport Plains


Knapton, Anthony; CloudGMS Pty Ltd

Commissioned by

Northern Territory. Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; WRD Technical Report 27/2017




Western Davenport Water Control District


CloudGMS has been commissioned by DENR to develop a numerical groundwater model of the aquifers within the central area of the WDWCD to improve confidence in the sustainability of the groundwater resources, as this is the area within the WCD with greatest potential for intensive development.


Made available by via Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT); Prepared for Dept Environment and Natural resources

Table of contents

Executive summary -- 1 Background -- 2 Physical -- 3 Available data -- 4 Conceptual model -- 5 Model design & construction -- 6 Parameter estimation -- 7 Water balances -- 8 Sensitivity analysis -- 9 Predictive scenarios -- 10 Conclusions -- 11 Reference -- 12 Document history and version control -- Appendix A - Groundwater level hydrographs - Appendix B - Alek range horticultural farm sub-regional modelling




Groundwater; Northern Territory; Western Davenport Water Control District; Conceptual mode

Publisher name

Northern Territory Governmnet

Place of publication



version 2.0


WRD Technical Report 27/2017


ix, 127 pages : colour illustration and maps ; 30 cm

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Related links

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/842058 [LANT E-Publications: Development of a Groundwater Model for the Western Davenport Plains, version 1.1]

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

Western Davenport WCD Groundwater Model (v2.0) Model Design & Construction CloudGMS 58 b) Figure 5-2 SILO data drill daily climatic data a) rainfall and b) evaporation. 5.1.5. Saturated zone The Saturated Zone (SZ) component of MIKE SHE calculates the saturated subsurface flow in the catchment. MIKE SHE allows for a fully three-dimensional flow in a heterogeneous aquifer with shifting conditions between unconfined and confined conditions. The spatial and temporal variations of the dependent variable (the hydraulic head) is described mathematically by the 3-dimensional Darcy equation and solved numerically by an iterative implicit finite difference technique. MIKE SHE gives the opportunity to choose between two groundwater solvers - the SOR groundwater solver based on a successive over-relaxation solution technique and the PCG groundwater solver based on a preconditioned conjugate gradient solution technique. The formulation of potential flow and sink/source terms differs between the two modules to some extent. The Saturated Zone Component interacts with the other components of MIKE SHE WM mainly by using the boundary flows from other components implicitly or explicitly as sources and sinks. 3D Finite Difference Method The governing flow equation for three-dimensional saturated flow in saturated porous media is: ! # $%!! ! # ' + ! # $%"" ! ) ' + ! * $%## ! * ' , = . ! / where Kxx, Kyy and Kzz are the hydraulic conductivity along the x, y and z axes of the model, which are assumed to be parallel to the principle axes of hydraulic conductivity tensor, h is the hydraulic head, Q represents the source/sink terms, and S is the storage coefficient. Two special features of this apparently straightforward elliptic equation should be noted. First, the equations are non-linear when flow is unconfined and second, the storage coefficient is not constant but switches between the specific storage coefficient for confined conditions and the specific yield for unconfined conditions. Setting up a saturated zone hydraulic model based on the 3D Finite Difference Method involves defining the: the geological model; the vertical numerical discretisation (computational layers); the initial conditions; and the boundary conditions.