Hydrogeophysical model calibration and uncertainty analysis via full integration of PEST/PEST++ and COMSOL

Andres Gonzalez-Quiros*, Jean-Christophe Comte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Calibration of groundwater models is frequently hampered by limited availability of hydrogeological data. Non intrusive geophysical methods are increasingly used to provide higher spatio-temporal resolution datasets for identification of hydrological processes and estimation of hydraulic properties. In groundwater model calibration performed through joint or coupled hydrogeophysical inversion, the hydrogeological datasets are supplemented with auxiliary geophysical data. In this work we propose a methodological approach to perform coupled inversion by integrating the calibration software PEST/PEST++ with COMSOL Multiphysics using MATLAB. The strategy provides multiple options for calibration and uncertainty analysis relevant for a broad range of environmental models. To illustrate the approach, we show a hydrogeophysical application in which electrical resistivity is used jointly with borehole data for the identification of seawater intrusion in a coastal aquifer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105183
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Modelling and Software
Early online date31 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Andrés González Quirós is the recipient of a Royal Society – Newton International Fellowship (NIF\R1\182210), hosted at the University of Aberdeen. We thank the Scottish Funding Council/Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society for seed funding the development of the project. We would also like to thank the Associate Editor Tim Green, Thomas Hermans, Landon Halloran and one anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions in the revision process.


  • Hydrogeophysics
  • Multiphysics modelling
  • Coupled inversion
  • Uncertainty analysis


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