Before a groundwater model can be used for prediction or management purposes, it must be calibrated using historical observations, historical operational records, and initial and boundary conditions. Calibration, in the general sense, concerns the estimation of model parameters (parameter identification) in a given conceptual model. Without doubt, the more data (observations) we have, the more reliable the calibrated model will be. Typical data available include the following:
1. Topographical and geographical maps. This information assists in defining the region of the groundwater basin and boundary types, i.e., impermeable, given head, given flux, and so on.
2. Well logs, which contain the vertical distribution of geological formations, including depth, color, character, size of material, and structure of the strata. This information helps to determine the layer structure and parameter value range in each layer.
3. Groundwater level observations. This information is most crucial to model calibration, as most of the groundwater models are calibrated against historical water level observations.
4. Historical precipitation and streamflow data. This information provides recharge and boundary conditions.
5. Historical groundwater pumping/ injection records. This information provides the sink/source term.
6. Land use data, which contain acreages of human activities, such as residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural uses. This information helps to estimate the groundwater consumption and return flow.
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