|Recharge assessment by means of vertical temperature profiles: analysis of possible influences|In: Hydrological Sciences Journal = Journal des Sciences Hydrologiques. Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 0262-6667, more
heat transport, surficial zone, temperature profiles, recharge assessment
Temperature profiles (temperature as function of depth) can be used to derive vertical flow velocities or recharge rates. In many cases, solutions to the one-dimensional (1-D) heat transport equation are used, considering steady-state boundary conditions. Factors which can influence the derivation of the mean vertical flow velocity are studied here. Therefore, an explicit finite-difference approximation to the 1-D heat transport equation coupled with an inverse scheme was used to interpret temperature profiles. Measurement error (larger than 0.05°C) can result in important deviation of the derived mean flow velocity. Variation of vertical flow velocity as a function of time leads to asymmetric temperature envelopes. Yearly variation in vertical flow velocities, or temperature variations of the recharge water, also results in asymmetric temperature envelopes. Interpretation of these asymmetric envelopes leads to important differences between derived and actual mean vertical flow velocities.