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Abstract

Neighbouring groundwater models often have large areas of overlap to avoid boundary issues in hydrogeological assessments and such overlap or artificial boundaries can lead to inconsistent representations of aquifers and processes. This paper presents the aggregation of six adjacent models spanning East Anglia, England, into one model without internal boundaries. This study principally discusses the effect of, and difficulties arising from model edge boundaries. In addition, a review of conceptual and numerical discontinuities at model boundaries is included and a more consistent and robust modelling approach over the whole area is demonstrated. The large, joined model is used to delineate groundwater divides, assess their transient migration, review edge boundary implications for water balances and investigate abstraction impacts without the influence of internal static boundaries. Computer codes developed in conjunction with this study facilitate joining adjacent models and, conversely, splitting of the joined model back into models at the scale of the original component models using simulated groundwater divides, or to smaller submodels incorporating edge boundary conditions calculated from the parent model.

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