Evaluation of Interaction between Aquifer and river Using Integrated SWAT-MODFLOW-NWT Model (Case study: Mahabad plain)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. candidate, Department of Irrigation and Reclamation Engineering, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Department of Irrigation and Reclamation Engineering, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran,

3 Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran


Surface and groundwater dynamically interact at different spatial or temporal scales within a plain. Accurate estimation of water balance components is an important simulation of such interactions. Despite the rapid expansion of numerical models over the past two decades, there is still room for improvement for comprehensive and integrated assessment as well as management of surface and groundwater resources. In particular, the use of coupled surface and groundwater models is important to connect both surface and groundwater, and for proper representation of the water balance in the unsaturated root zone. The results of various studies suggest that the combination of SWAT and MODFLOW models can satisfactorily simulate the interaction between surface and groundwater at different spatial and temporal dimensions (Sophocleous and Perkins, 2000; Sun and Cornish, 2005; Bejranonda et al., 2007). Indeed, if both models are used simultaneously, not only the limitations of the two individual models can be improved, but also the temporal-spatial properties of the target area can be adequately reflected (Kim et al., 2008; Park and Bailey, 2017; Wei et al., 2018). Specifically in the Urmia Lake Basin, which has been severely affected by indiscriminate exploitation of water resources, these models can be used to maximize the supply of Urmia Lake based on the pattern of supplying irrigation needs from integrated water sources. This requires the interaction of surface and groundwater resources in different locations of plains and aquifers to be simulated and predicted based on different shares of agricultural water supply from integrated water sources.
The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the interaction between ground and surface water in Mahabad plain using the coupled SWAT-MODFLOW-NWT model as a comprehensive and integrated model. The main challenge in this study is the interaction and monitoring of water table adjacent to the surface water bodies.


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Volume 45, Issue 4
February 2023
Pages 49-72
  • Receive Date: 01 March 2022
  • Revise Date: 03 July 2022
  • Accept Date: 06 July 2022
  • Publish Date: 20 February 2023