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Contributions To Uncertainty Related To Hydrostratigraphic Modeling Using Multiple-point Statistics

Adrian A. S. Barfod, Troels N. Vilhelmsen, Flemming Jørgensen, Anders V. Christiansen, Anne-Sophie Høyer, Julien Straubhaar, Ingelise Møller

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Abstract. Forecasting the flow of groundwater requires a hydrostratigraphic model, which describes the architecture of the subsurface. State-of-the-art multiple-point statistical (MPS) tools are readily available for creating models depicting subsurface geology. We present a study of the impact of key parameters related to stochastic MPS simulation of a real-world hydrogeophysical dataset from Kasted, Denmark, using the snesim algorithm. The goal is to study how changes to the underlying datasets propagate into the hydrostratigraphic realizations when using MPS for stochastic modeling. This study focuses on the sensitivity of the MPS realizations to the geophysical soft data, borehole lithology logs, and the training image (TI). The modeling approach used in this paper utilizes a cognitive geological model as a TI to simulate ensemble hydrostratigraphic models. The target model contains three overall hydrostratigraphic categories, and the MPS realizations are compared visually as well as quantitatively using mathematical measures of similarity. The quantitative similarity analysis is carried out exhaustively, and realizations are compared with each other as well as with the cognitive geological model. The results underline the importance of geophysical data for constraining MPS simulations. Relying only on borehole data and the conceptual geology, or TI, results in a significant increase in realization uncertainty. The airborne transient electromagnetic SkyTEM data used in this study cover a large portion of the Kasted model area and are essential to the hydrostratigraphic architecture. On the other hand, the borehole lithology logs are sparser, and 410 boreholes were present in this study. The borehole lithology logs infer local changes in the immediate vicinity of the boreholes, thus, in areas with a high degree of geological heterogeneity, boreholes only provide limited large-scale structural information. Lithological information is, however, important for the interpretation of the geophysical responses. The importance of the TI was also studied. An example was presented where an alternative geological model from a neighboring area was used to simulate hydrostratigraphic models. It was shown that as long as the geological settings are similar in nature, the realizations, although different, still reflect the hydrostratigraphic architecture. If a TI containing a biased geological conceptualization is used, the resulting realizations will resemble the TI and contain less structure in particular areas, where the soft data show almost even probability to two or all three of the hydrostratigraphic units.