Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Environmental Sciences and Management


Natural Resources Management


College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


Bwalya Malama

Advisor Department

Natural Resources Management

Advisor College

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences


A groundwater model of a subsection of the San Luis Obispo Valley basin was pro- duced using COMSOL Multiphysics 5.5 software. The goal of this project was to create a general model using forward modeling techniques which would serve as the foundation for a more refined, complete, and calibrated groundwater hydrology model. The San Luis Obispo and Edna Valley basins are characterized as high-priority by the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act because of historic overdrafting of groundwater reserves during periods of drought in the early 1990's. Natural resource managers must use tools such as computer models to help forecast trends and predict future fates of groundwater reserves. COMSOL Multiphysics is a finite element modeling software which is more sophisticated than comparable hydrologic modeling software such as MODFLOW. A finite element model has not been con- structed for the San Luis Obispo or Edna Valley aquifers, and therefore this project set out to begin the process of building such a model. Subsequently, the model was built with an irregular boundary path, homogeneous subsurface physical parameters, irrigation supply well pumping effects, and initial and boundary conditions. The product of this project has set forth the foundation on which a more complete model can be built.

Included in

Hydrology Commons