Groundwater flow patterns within the Triassic sandstone aquifers, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Olayinka Simeon Oladeji, Adedayo Ayodele Adegbola

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This paper presents the development of a modelling study for part of the Birmingham area. Restricted access and model resolutions have limited wide applications of some of the previously developed models. The study area covers approximately 221 km2, and is underlain geologically, by a multi-layer setup with varied hydraulic properties. The basal aquifer unit is the Kidderminster sandstone Formation, overlain by the Wildmoor and Bromsgrove sandstone Formations. The presence of the Birmingham fault which acts as low permeability barrier demarcates the eastern and southern boundaries. The western boundary is defined by the presence of crystallised rocks and coal measures, while a groundwater divide defines the northern boundary. The estimated recharge flux is 112 mm/yr. The ranges of calibrated values obtained for horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivities are 5.787x10-6 - 2.315x10-5  m/s and 5.787x10-8  - 1.157x10-7  m/s, respectively. Corresponding values obtained for the specific yield and specific storage are 0.10 - 0.12, and 1x10 -4 - 5x10 -4. The calculated numerical error is generally much less than 0.1 %. Hydraulic layering within the Permo-Triassic sandstone aquifer is thought to account for the large vertical anisotropy. Although, uncertainties are associated with the use of a simplistic delay approach to characterise the effects of the unsaturated zone, the modelled values are comparable with those obtained in the literature, and the flow pattern predictions appear to be realistic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-778
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Engineering Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2012


  • geology
  • hydraulic parameters
  • modelling
  • recharge
  • uncertainties


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