## Abstract

The combined system of soil-water and shallow groundwater is modeled with simple mass balance equations assuming equilibrium soil moisture conditions. This results in an ordinary but nonlinear differential equation of water table depth at a single location. If errors in model inputs, errors due to model assumptions and parameter uncertainty are lumped and modeled as a wide band noise process, a stochastic differential equation (SDE) results. A solution for the stationary probability density function is given through use of the Fokker-Planck equation. For the nonstationary case, where the model inputs are given as daily time series, sample functions of water table depth, soil saturation, and drainage discharge can be simulated by numerically solving the SDE. These sample functions can be used for designing drainage systems and to perform risk analyses. The parameters and noise statistics of the SDE are calibrated on time series of water table depths by embedding the SDE in a Kalman filter algorithm and using the filter innovations in a filter-type maximum likelihood criterion. The stochastic model is calibrated and validated at two locations: a peat soil with a very shallow water table and a loamy sand soil with a moderately shallow water table. It is shown in both cases that sample functions simulated with the SDE are able to reproduce a wide range of statistics of water table depth. Despite its unrealistic assumption of constant inputs, the stationary solution derived from the Fokker-Planck equation gives good results for the peat soil, most likely because the characteristic response time of the water table is very small.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 2485-2499 |

Number of pages | 15 |

Journal | Water Resources Research |

Volume | 34 |

Issue number | 10 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 1 Jan 1998 |