Las Vegas Valley has had a long history of groundwater development and subsequent surface deformation. Much research has been done to estimate parameters within the Las Vegas Basin, but this research represents the first effort to use parameter estimation techniques to inversely calibrate hydrogeologic aquifer parameters for the principal aquifer of the entire basin. Three different inversion strategies are invoked to determine the most accurate and computationally efficient method for estimating transmissivities T and elastic and inelastic skeletal storage coefficients (Ske and Skv) at the basin scale: the zonation method (ZM), the adaptive multi-scale method, and the differential evolution adaptive metropolis Markov chain Monte Carlo scheme (DREAM MCMC). The three inversion methods are compared and contrasted based on quantitative measurements of model fit, computational efficiency, and user flexibility. The results indicate that overall, the adaptive multi-scale method, which is able to efficiently reconstruct the T, Ske, and Skv zones while providing more flexibility and accuracy than the other two methods, is the best strategy for calibrating optimal model parameters and providing a framework for developing an accurate hydrogeologic model for Las Vegas Valley.

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