Ground-water withdrawal from a confined or semiconfined aquifer causes three-dimensional deformation in the pumped aquifer and in adjacent layers (overlying and underlying aquifers and aquitards). In response to the deformation, hydraulic head in the adjacent layers could rise or fall almost immediately after the start of pumping. This deformation-induced effect suggest that an adjacent layer undergoes horizontal compression and vertical extension when pumping begins. Hydraulic head initially drops in a region near the well and close to the pumped aquifer, but rises outside this region. Magnitude of head change varies from a few centimeters to more than 10 centimeters. Factors that influence the development of deformation-induced effects includes matrix rigidity (shear modulus), the arrangement of aquifer and aquitards, their thicknesses, and proximity to land surface. Induced rise in hydraulic head is prominent in an aquitard that extends from land surface to a shallow pumped aquifer. Induced drop in hydraulic head is likely observed close to the well in an aquifer that is separated from the pumped aquifer by a relatively thin aquitard. Induced effects might last for hours in an aquifer, but could persist for many days in an aquitard. Induced effects are eventually dissipated by fluid flow from regions of higher head to regions of lower head, and by propagation of drawdown from the pumped aquifer into adjacent layers.
Additional publication details
Deformation-induced changes in hydraulic head during ground-water withdrawal