Determining hydrogeological parameters of an aquifer in Sirjan Basin using Envisat ASAR interferometry and groundwater modelling

Atefe Choopani, Maryam Dehghani*, Mohammad Reza Nikoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Excessive groundwater exploitation in Sirjan plain, located in south of Iran, has caused severe land subsidence. The main purpose of this paper is to determine the hydrogeological parameters of the aquifer system in Sirjan plain. To this end, the groundwater flow was simulated in both steady and transient states using the United States Geological Survey Modular Three-Dimensional Finite-Difference Groundwater Flow Model, MODFLOW. The hydraulic conductivity parameter of the aquifer system was first estimated and calibrated in the steady state by simulating the hydraulic head at 63 piezometric wells. The specific yield and recharge parameters were then calibrated in the transient state by simulating the drawdown within a period of interest, i.e. 23 September 2004 to 22 September 2005. The main innovation of this paper, however, is to use the potential of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) interferometry time-series analysis in the last step of the proposed algorithm. Small Baseline Subset (SBAS) time-series analysis was applied using Envisat Advanced SAR (ASAR) images acquired from 1 June 2004 to 28 September 2010. The merit of SBAS time series is that it enables us to calculate the amount of subsidence in each period of interest while minimizing the temporal decorrelation effect. In the last step, the SBAS time-series analysis results were obtained to extract the accumulated subsidence from 19 October 2004 to 30 August 2005. The aquifer compaction due to this period was calculated in the Interbed Storage Package (IBS1) for MODFLOW in order to calibrate storage coefficient in a trial-and-error manner so as the calculated subsidence and the observed one by SAR interferometry be in a good agreement. The Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) between the simulated subsidence and the observed one is calculated as 0.019 m which is an indication of the high performance of modelling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-682
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Remote Sensing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 17 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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