The specific storage of a porous medium, a function of the compressibility of the aquifer material and the fluid within it, is essentially constant under normal hydrologic conditions. Gases dissolved in ground water can increase the effective specific storage of a confined aquifer, however, during water level declines. This causes a reduction in pore pressure that lowers the gas solubility and results in exsolution. The exsolved gas then displaces water from storage, and the specific storage increases because gas compressibility is typically much greater than that of water or aquifer material. This work describes the effective specific storage of a confined aquifer exsolving dissolved gas as a function of hydraulic head and the dimensionless Henry's law constant for the gas. This relation is applied in a transient simulation of ground water discharge from a confined aquifer system to a collapsed salt mine in the Genesee Valley in western New York. Results indicate that exsolution of gas significantly increased the effective specific storage in the aquifer system, thereby decreasing the water level drawdown.
Additional Publication Details
Effect of natural gas exsolution on specific storage in a confined aquifer undergoing water level decline