Time-series modelling of groundwater head and its de-composition to historic climate periods

T. J. Peterson, A. W. Western

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

10 Citations (Scopus)


For many decades, throughout much of Australia, considerable public investment has been made in establishing and monitoring groundwater bores. To improve the value extracted from this data set, this paper presents a new, and statistically robust, hydrograph analysis method. It extends an existing transfer function-noise model by inclusion of a derived soil moisture state variable. It allows simulation of a groundwater hydrograph using only climate forcing and does not resort to, as per the HARTT model, adoption of an unexplained temporal trend or an assumption of first order stationary climate forcing. Furthermore, the contribution from historic climate can be decomposed into that from various historic periods to provide novel insight into catchment dynamics, trends and lags. Four variants of this model, plus HARTT, were applied to eleven observation bores from a paired catchment reafforestation study in Great Western, Victoria. The findings include: (i) the inclusion of a soil moisture component in the model significantly increased the predictive performance compared to the original transfer function-noise model; (ii) decomposition of the hydrograph can provide significant insight into temporal trends and lags; and (iii) no model could estimate the groundwater head change from reafforestation with sufficient statistical confidence. Overall, this time series model is an advance in the technical methodology and in the utilisation of groundwater data.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication34th IAHR Congress 2011 - Balance and Uncertainty
Subtitle of host publicationWater in a Changing World, Incorporating the 33rd Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium and the 10th Conference on Hydraulics in Water Engineering
PublisherInforma UK (International Association of Hydraulic Engineering and Research (IAHR))
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780858258686
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventCongress of IAHR, the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research 2011 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 26 Jun 20111 Jul 2011
Conference number: 34th


ConferenceCongress of IAHR, the International Association of Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research 2011
OtherProceedings of the 34th IAHR World Congress [electronic resource] : 33rd Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium : 10th Conference on Hydraulics in Water Engineering, 26 June - 1 July 2011, Brisbane Australia


  • Climate forcing
  • Groundwater hydrograph
  • Land use change
  • Time series modelling

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