2021). Effect of multilayered groundwater mounds on water dynamics beneath a recharge basin: Numerical simulation and assessment of surface injection. Hydrological Processes, 35: e14193. https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.14193, , , , , & (
Interactions between groundwater mounds caused by a geologic layer contrast affect the efficiency of managed aquifer recharge in arid areas. However, research has rarely examined the roles of groundwater mounding size variations on soil water dynamics in a stratified vadose zone in response to a sustained infiltration source. Numerical experiments were conducted on a two-dimensional vertical-section domain using HYDRUS software to simulate the behaviours of two adjacent (upper and lower) groundwater mounds underlying an infiltration basin subjected to clay loam and sandy alternately-layered soil profiles. The model successfully predicted the volume and extent of perched water and approximated vertical travel times during events generating downward fluxes from the surface injection. The response time of the mounding width (lateral extension) to the surface injection was delayed as compared to that of the mounding height (vertical extension), especially for the lower water mound. The mounding heights and widths show a strongly positive correlation with the infiltration rates of both high- and low-permeability layers where the injected water mounded, while the water storage amounts in the high- and low-permeability layers were governed by the mounding height and width, respectively. Exploratory simulations were then employed to assess the dependence of groundwater mounding behaviours and recharge performances on surface injection strategies. Results suggest that, by reducing injection rate or shortening injection duration, the near-term fraction of the surface injection converted to deep recharge is likely to be increased due to the narrowed groundwater mounding size, which would be limited by the water-retarding effect of layer contrasts. This study has important implications for predicting and understanding multilayered groundwater mounding behaviours and associated water mass balance under the geologic stratification, and is expected to aid in optimizing the infiltration basin operation for aquifer recharge.