Estimating groundwater seepages to St. Lucie Estuary

Gour Tsyh Yeh, Jae Young Lee, Gordon Hu, Detong Sun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In this paper, four analytical models describing hydraulic interaction of stream-aquifer systems were applied to St Lucie Estuary (SLE) River Estuaries. These are analytical solutions for: (1) flow from a finite aquifer to a canal, (2) flow from an infinite aquifer to a canal, (3) the linearized Laplace system in a seepage surface, and (4) potential flow through stratified unconfined aquifers. Input data for analytical solutions were obtained from monitoring wells and river stages at seepage-meter sites. Four transects in the study area are available: Club Med, Harbour Ridge, Lutz/MacMillan, and Pendarvis Cove located in the St. Lucie River. The analytical models were first calibrated with seepage meter measurements and then used to estimate of groundwater discharges into St. Lucie River. From this process, analytical relationships between the seepage rate and river stages and/or groundwater tables were established to predict the seasonal and monthly variation in groundwater seepage into SLE. It was found the seepage rate estimations by analytical models agreed well with measured data for some cases but only fair for some other cases. This is not unexpected because analytical solutions have some inherently simplified assumptions, which may be more valid for some cases than the others. From analytical calculations, it is possible to predict approximate seepage rates in the study domain when the assumptions underlying these analytical models are valid. The finite and infinite aquifer models and the linearized Laplace method are good for sites Pendarvis Cove and Lutz/MacMillian, but fair for the other two sites. The stratified unconfined aquifer model gave similarly good agreements with measurements at three sites but poorly at the Club Med site. None of the analytical models presented here can fit the data at this site. To give better estimates at all sites numerical modeling that couple river hydraulics and groundwater flow involving less simplifications of and assumptions for the system may have to be adapted.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009 - World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009
Subtitle of host publicationGreat Rivers
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2009
EventWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers - Kansas City, MO, United States
Duration: 17 May 200921 May 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009 - World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers


ConferenceWorld Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2009: Great Rivers
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKansas City, MO


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