Data requirements for using combined conductivity mass balance and recursive digital filter method to estimate groundwater recharge in a small watershed New Brunswick, Canada.

Li, Q., Xing, Z.S., Danielescu, S., Li, S., Jiang, Y., and Meng, F. (2014). "Data requirements for using combined conductivity mass balance and recursive digital filter method to estimate groundwater recharge in a small watershed New Brunswick, Canada.", Journal of Hydrology, 511, pp. 658-664. doi : 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.01.073  Access to full text

Abstract

Estimation of baseflow and groundwater recharge rates is important for hydrological analysis and modelling. A new approach which combines recursive digital filter (RDF) model with conductivity mass balance (CMB) method was considered to be reliable for baseflow separation because the combined method takes advantages of the reduced data requirement for RDF method and the reliability of CMB method. However, it is not clear what the minimum data requirements for producing acceptable estimates of the RDF model parameters are. In this study, 19-year record of stream discharge and water conductivity collected from the Black Brook Watershed (BBW), NB, Canada were used to test the combined baseflow separation method and assess the variability of parameters in the model over seasons. The data requirements and potential bias in estimated baseflow index (BFI) were evaluated using conductivity data for different seasons and/or resampled data segments at various sampling durations. Results indicated that the data collected during ground-frozen season are more suitable to estimate baseflow conductivity (Cbf) and data during snow-melting period are more suitable to estimate runoff conductivity (Cro). Relative errors of baseflow estimation were inversely proportional to the number of conductivity data records. A minimum of six-month discharge and conductivity data is required to obtain reliable parameters for current method with acceptable errors. We further found that the average annual recharge rate for the BBW was 322 mm in the past twenty years.

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