Joint three-dimensional inversion of coupled groundwater flow and heat transfer based on automatic differentiation: Sensitivity calculation, verification, and synthetic examples.




Inverse methods are useful tools not only for deriving estimates of unknown parameters of the subsurface, but also for appraisal of the thus obtained models. While not being neither the most general nor the most efficient methods, Bayesian inversion based on the calculation of the Jacobian of a given forward model can be used to evaluate many quantities useful in this process. The calculation of the Jacobian, however, is computationally expensive and, if done by divided differences, prone to truncation error. Here, automatic differentiation can be used to produce derivative code by source transformation of an existing forward model. We describe this process for a coupled fluid flow and heat transport finite-difference code, which is used in a Bayesian inverse scheme to estimate thermal and hydraulic properties and boundary conditions form measured hydraulic potentials and temperatures. The resulting derivative code was validated by comparison to simple analytical solutions and divided differences. Synthetic examples from different flow regimes demonstrate the use of the inverse scheme, and its behavior in different configurations.