The word “model’” has a wide range of use and perceived definition, ranging from a general depiction of the subsurface to highly involved numerical finite difference algorithms. The first part of this presentation will communicate a deeper understanding of environmental models, particularly groundwater models, in order to enhance technical competence, project execution, and innovation. From this context, the discussion will expand into project examples of groundwater modeling and innovative ways in which advanced mathematical algorithms support a variety of remedial design optimizations.
There is a multitude of software solutions and techniques for analyzing data in the highly complicated field of groundwater and environmental consulting. These range from statistical analyses, visual representations, geospatial analysis, and mathematical algorithms. There are differences in models based on physical law and/or empirical relationships compared to nonphysically based models. Often, a project team or client sets forth a mission to “model” a site with a defined objective in mind, but without an understanding of the highly varied field of modeling. This presentation defines and explains a variety of mathematical models to help practitioners, technical teams, and project managers make decisions on how to best analyze and represent site data. Fundamentals to the process are clearly explained focusing on geostatistical analyses estimation and visualization.
The presentation provides a thorough discussion regarding the use of a geostatistical model with a site example of processes designed to reduce uncertainty, and limit the time and expense of oversampling.
James Schuetz is a Principal Hydrogeologist and Technical Manager specializing in groundwater modeling, bioremediation, advanced 4D visualization modeling, geostatistics, and complicated geological environments. His extensive knowledge of field applications, numerical/ analytical expertise, and fundamental geologic knowledge provides a unique skill set. Jim has been with Parsons for 18 years. Prior to joining Parsons, his master’s degree work involved 3-D numerical groundwater flow modeling, and he worked as an exploration geologist in Greenland and Africa.