Data model for system conceptualization in groundwater studies

Xiaoying Yang, David R. Steward, Willem J. de Lange, Simon Y. Lauwo, Richard M. Chubb, Eric A. Bernard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Development of a conceptualization of a hydrogeologic system serves as the basis of groundwater modeling. While existing groundwater data models are designed to store groundwater system information, none is designed to capture its conceptual view. This study addresses this need by presenting a new object-oriented Conceptualization Groundwater Data Model that represents a groundwater system as a series of aquifer layers with defined aquifer properties and water boundary conditions. A case study is presented that develops the conceptual view of the groundwater system beneath Konza Prairie. This single conceptualization is used to support groundwater models across existing technologies of finite difference, finite element, and analytical element methods. While the models each employ different mathematics, data input files, and formats, all models are founded on the same conceptualization process that is represented using this new data model. The case study illustrates the data model's promise as an effective mechanism for groundwater system conceptualization and data storage, and utility for various groundwater computational models. This conceptualization of a groundwater data model suggests a new focus on incorporating system conceptualization into data model design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-694
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Conceptualization
  • Data model
  • Groundwater
  • Simulation


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