Jointly meeting global challenges Annual report 2012

 

Von Asmuth receives doctorate for groundwater-level analysis

5 March 2012Research

For a few years now, thanks to the Menyanthes software program, fluctuations in groundwater levels have been really easy to visualise. Jos von Asmuth has, for more than a decade, dedicated the lion’s share of his time at KWR Watercycle Research Institute to developing and perfecting this program. He is awarded his doctorate for this pioneering work, which demonstrates how systems that are heterogeneous and complex can nonetheless display simple behaviour.

Groundwater is essential for all life on our planet. A number of processes influence groundwater levels: rain, overgrowth, drainage, water extraction and so on. In order to gain insight into groundwater level fluctuations, one analyses measurements conducted over a period of time, that is, one carries out a time series analysis. Until about ten years ago, this analysis was primarily the domain of a few specialists. But now, with the Menyanthes software program, practically every (eco)hydrologist can explain why a fluctuation has occurred and predict the impact of water management measures or climate change. The majority of water management entities in the Netherlands (provinces, nature organisations, water companies) make use of Menyanthes. “All you need is the data, and then Menyanthes gets it to talk,” says Von Asmuth.

Von Asmuth receives doctorate for groundwater-level analysis

Groundwater-level behaviour

Menyanthes has proved its utility, for instance, in the restructuring of the Grensmaas border area between the Netherlands and Belgium. The Dutch Directorate for Public Works and Water Management used Menyanthes to monitor the impact of the project’s activities, including their effects on fragile natural areas on the Belgian side of the border. “The big advantage of Menyanthes,” says Von Asmuth, “is that you no longer need complicated models of the underground. The behaviour of groundwater levels seems to be simple, even if the ground is complex. A couple of measurement series is all Menyanthes needs. The results are rendered visible in three-dimensional patterns. This literally adds a new dimension to the time series analysis technique.”

© 2017 KWR Watercycle Research Institute

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