Numerical Modelling of the London Chalk Aquifer

Case Study

ESI has completed a variety of both small and major projects within the London basin for a broad section of clients. This work has given ESI an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the chalk within the basin. New conceptual and numerical models will help the Environment Agency to manage water resources of the basin by providing tools which enable sound science-based regulatory decision making.

The Chalk aquifer that underlies London is one of the most densely investigated and data-rich in the UK. Following consolidation and analysis of the available data and a comprehensive literature review, ESI has formulated a detailed conceptual understanding of the key hydrogeological processes which occur within the London Basin aquifer.

 

ESI has carried out a range of groundwater modelling and other impact assessment projects on the London Chalk aquifer over the last 15 years. This includes major modelling investigations, prestigious projects such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) and the Cooling the Tube programme, and defining Source Protection Zones (SPZs) around numerous public water supply boreholes.

 

Through a project for the Environment Agency, ESI has now used the most up-to-date interpretation of the geology beneath London to further current understanding of geological controls on groundwater flow, most notably faulting and structure within the basin and the influence of the chalk stratigraphy on aquifer properties. The robust and quantified conceptual model has formed the basis for the construction of a new, calibrated MODFLOW model of the London Basin aquifer. These new conceptual and numerical models will help the Environment Agency to manage water resources of the basin by providing tools which enable sound science-based regulatory decision making.

 

ESI has also developed a coupled groundwater flow-heat transport FEFLOW model of central London, building on work undertaken on the ‘Cooling the Tube’ project for London Underground Limited. The primary aim of the model is to provide a tool to aid the Environment Agency so that it can effectively manage and make regulatory decisions regarding open-loop ground source energy schemes. A series of models were developed to simulate heat transport under a range of operational scenarios, including ‘worst case’ and a range of more realistic operating conditions.

 

Please contact us.