Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo inversion of geophysical data for the purpose of estimating the hydraulic properties of the unsaturated zone

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ID Serval
serval:BIB_50C47B415ED7
Type
Thèse: thèse de doctorat.
Collection
Publications
Titre
Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo inversion of geophysical data for the purpose of estimating the hydraulic properties of the unsaturated zone
Auteur(s)
Scholer M.
Directeur(s)
Holliger  K.
Institution
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnement
Adresse
Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnementUniversité de LausanneUNIL - SorgeAmphipôle - bureau 314CH-1015 LausanneSUISSE
Statut éditorial
Acceptée
Date de publication
2012
Langue
anglais
Nombre de pages
135
Résumé
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) has the potential to provide valuable information on hydrological properties of the vadose zone because of their strong sensitivity to soil water content. In particular, recent evidence has suggested that the stochastic inversion of crosshole GPR data within a coupled geophysical-hydrological framework may allow for effective estimation of subsurface van-Genuchten-Mualem (VGM) parameters and their corresponding uncertainties. An important and still unresolved issue, however, is how to best integrate GPR data into a stochastic inversion in order to estimate the VGM parameters and their uncertainties, thus improving hydrological predictions.
Recognizing the importance of this issue, the aim of the research presented in this thesis was to first introduce a fully Bayesian inversion called Markov-chain-Monte-carlo (MCMC) strategy to perform the stochastic inversion of steady-state GPR data to estimate the VGM parameters and their uncertainties. Within this study, the choice of the prior parameter probability distributions from which potential model configurations are drawn and tested against observed data was also investigated. Analysis of both synthetic and field data collected at the Eggborough (UK) site indicates that the geophysical data alone contain valuable information regarding the VGM parameters. However, significantly better results are obtained when these data are combined with a realistic, informative prior. A subsequent study explore in detail the dynamic infiltration case, specifically to what extent time-lapse ZOP GPR data, collected during a forced infiltration experiment at the Arrenaes field site (Denmark), can help to quantify VGM parameters and their uncertainties using the MCMC inversion strategy. The findings indicate that the stochastic inversion of time-lapse GPR data does indeed allow for a substantial refinement in the inferred posterior VGM parameter distributions. In turn, this significantly improves knowledge of the hydraulic properties, which are required to predict hydraulic behaviour. Finally, another aspect that needed to be addressed involved the comparison of time-lapse GPR data collected under different infiltration conditions (i.e., natural loading and forced infiltration conditions) to estimate the VGM parameters using the MCMC inversion strategy. The results show that for the synthetic example, considering data collected during a forced infiltration test helps to better refine soil hydraulic properties compared to data collected under natural infiltration conditions. When investigating data collected at the Arrenaes field site, further complications arised due to model error and showed the importance of also including a rigorous analysis of the propagation of model error with time and depth when considering time-lapse data.
Although the efforts in this thesis were focused on GPR data, the corresponding findings are likely to have general applicability to other types of geophysical data and field environments. Moreover, the obtained results allow to have confidence for future developments in integration of geophysical data with stochastic inversions to improve the characterization of the unsaturated zone but also reveal important issues linked with stochastic inversions, namely model errors, that should definitely be addressed in future research.
Création de la notice
11/02/2013 16:32
Dernière modification de la notice
03/03/2018 17:09
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