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Analysis of pumping tests: Significance of well diameter, partial penetration, and noise

Journal of the American Water Resources Association

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Abstract

The nonlinear least squares (NLS) method was applied to pumping and recovery aquifer test data in confined and unconfined aquifers with finite diameter and partially penetrating pumping wells, and with partially penetrating piezometers or observation wells. It was demonstrated that noiseless and moderately noisy drawdown data from observation points located less than two saturated thicknesses of the aquifer from the pumping well produced an exact or acceptable set of parameters when the diameter of the pumping well was included in the analysis. The accuracy of the estimated parameters, particularly that of specific storage, decreased with increases in the noise level in the observed drawdown data. With consideration of the well radii, the noiseless drawdown data from the pumping well in an unconfined aquifer produced good estimates of horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivities and specific yield, but the estimated specific storage was unacceptable. When noisy data from the pumping well were used, an acceptable set of parameters was not obtained. Further experiments with noisy drawdown data in an unconfined aquifer revealed that when the well diameter was included in the analysis, hydraulic conductivity, specific yield and vertical hydraulic conductivity may be estimated rather effectively from piezometers located over a range of distances from the pumping well. Estimation of specific storage became less reliable for piezemeters located at distances greater than the initial saturated thickness of the aquifer. Application of the NLS to field pumping and recovery data from a confined aquifer showed that the estimated parameters from the two tests were in good agreement only when the well diameter was included in the analysis. Without consideration of well radii, the estimated values of hydraulic conductivity from the pumping and recovery tests were off by a factor of four.The nonlinear least squares method was applied to pumping and recovery aquifer test data in confined and unconfined aquifers with finite diameter and partially penetrating piezometers and observation wells. Noiseless and moderately noisy drawdown data from observation points located less than two saturated thicknesses of the aquifer from the pumping well produced a set of parameters that agrees very well with piezometer test data when the diameter of the pumping well was included in the analysis. The accuracy of the estimated parameters decreased with increasing noise level.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Analysis of pumping tests: Significance of well diameter, partial penetration, and noise
Series title:
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume
35
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Water Resources Assoc
Publisher location:
Herndon, VA, United States
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of the American Water Resources Association
First page:
333
Last page:
347