Groundwater Modelling / Geohydraulics Ltd.

Sep 20, 2023

GeoHydraulics Ltd specialises in the numerical modelling of groundwater flow systems and has generated regional-scale groundwater models for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (CIoS). Geohydraulics limited was set up by Dr Dave Watkins, following his time as a Hydrologist for Cornwall Council and working on numerous projects across Cornwall.

How the DDC connection occurred

Prior to working in the Council, Dr Watkins was a lecturer in the Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter), and continues as an Honorary Senior Fellow within the University, which is how Dr Watkins first engaged with DDC. Initially, GeoHydraulics’s groundwater model was generated using a ‘Finite Difference’ numerical approach and was presented at the Deep Digital Cornwall (DDC) Groundwater and Geothermal event at the Eden Project on 9th December 2021.

Value of any grant support

Following this presentation, to develop this model further, GeoHydraulics continued to work with DDC. An Innovation Voucher project was set up, with a total value of £4,577.

Nature of intervention

This project has been set up both to enhance the current CIoS groundwater models and to create a more detailed numerical model of groundwater flow within the highly complex South Crofty Mine hydrogeological system under the Camborne-Pool-Redruth area of Cornwall. This was enabled by using a more flexible ‘Finite Element’ approach. One reason for the extension of the groundwater modelling is that the South Crofty Mine, is about to re-open and restart pumping to dewater the mine.

What the business assist/grant has achieved

This has provided a unique and timely opportunity to develop, test, calibrate, demonstrate and justify a numerical model of the groundwater flow system and refine it in the future as more hydrogeological data from the mine dewatering becomes available.

DDC are generating and providing GeoHydraulics with 3D mine models from specialist software, 3D surfaces from spatial analysis based on point outputs of different geological data as well as a fracture network model for South Crofty mine.

Level of regional water table

Simulation of pumping of a shaft at South Crofty to 400m below sea level

Plans for the future, incl. data on DDC Data Hub

As part of this project, GeoHydraulics will make all groundwater flow and level results available to DDC for integration into the 3D Visualisation Suite. The numerical model of groundwater for all of Cornwall, with a dynamic element to better describe the effects of mine dewatering, will be available for use in other applications in the extractive, and other, industries and research across Cornwall.

Image shows: Relative Depth to water table

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