Using the GRAM Model to Reconstruct the Important Factors in Historic Groundwater Rebound in Part of the Durham Coalfield, UK

Modeling of mine water rebound in the southernmost zone of the Durham Coalfield has been undertaken in an attempt to reproduce observed water level recovery, since the 1970s, within five coal blocks south of the Butterknowle Fault. The lumped parameter model GRAM (groundwater rebound in abandoned mineworkings) was chosen to perform the simulations since it overcomes, to a large extent, a common problem found in such studies, namely a lack (especially concerning historic hydrogeological records) and superabundance of various kinds of data. The results obtained from this approach are satisfying and closely resemble the observed pattern of mine water rebound for the mining blocks studied. Such research indicates the critical dependence of predictions on factors such as the volume of water flowing into the system, the percentage runoff, and the value of storage coefficient assigned to the old workings. Model predictions are most useful as a tool for improving the conceptual understanding of abandoned mine systems and as a basis for evaluating alternative possibilities of coalfield behaviour, rather than as a strict quantitative assessment for all management purposes.
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