Permeability profiles derived from high-resolution flow logs in heterogeneous aquifers provide a limited sample of the most permeable beds or fractures determining the hydraulic properties of those aquifers. This paper demonstrates that flow logs can also be used to infer the large-scale properties of aquifers surrounding boreholes. The analysis is based on the interpretation of the hydraulic head values estimated from the flow log analysis. Pairs of quasi-steady flow profiles obtained under ambient conditions and while either pumping or injecting are used to estimate the hydraulic head in each water-producing zone. Although the analysis yields localized estimates of transmissivity for a few water-producing zones, the hydraulic head estimates apply to the farfield aquifers to which these zones are connected. The hydraulic head data are combined with information from other sources to identify the large-scale structure of heterogeneous aquifers. More complicated cross-borehole flow experiments are used to characterize the pattern of connection between large-scale aquifer units inferred from the hydraulic head estimates. The interpretation of hydraulic heads in situ under steady and transient conditions is illustrated by several case studies, including an example with heterogeneous permeable beds in an unconsolidated aquifer, and four examples with heterogeneous distributions of bedding planes and/or fractures in bedrock aquifers.
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Hydraulic head applications of flow logs in the study of heterogeneous aquifers