The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
The potential of direct-push technology for hydraulic characterization of saturated flow systems was investigated at a field site with a considerable degree of subsurface control. Direct-push installations were emplaced by attaching short lengths of screen (shielded and unshielded) to the bottom end of a tool string that was then advanced into the unconsolidated sediments. A series of constant-rate pumping tests were performed in a coarse sand and gravel aquifer using direct-push tool strings as observation wells. Very good agreement (within 4%) was found between hydraulic conductivity (K) estimates from direct-push installations and those from conventional wells. A program of slug tests was performed in direct-push installations using small-diameter adaptations of solid-slug and pneumatic methods. In a sandy silt interval of moderate hydraulic conductivity, K values from tests in a shielded screen tool were in excellent agreement (within 2%) with those from tests in a nearby well. In the coarse sand and gravel aquifer, K values were within 12% of those from multilevel slug tests at a nearby well. However, in the more permeable portions of the aquifer (K > 70 m/day), the smaller-diameter direct-push rods (0.016 m inner diameter [I.D.]) attenuated test responses, leading to an underprediction of K. In those conditions, use of larger-diameter rods (e.g., 0.038 m I.D.) is necessary to obtain K values representative of the formation. This investigation demonstrates that much valuable information can be obtained from hydraulic tests in direct-push installations. As with any type of hydraulic test, K estimates are critically dependent on use of appropriate emplacement and development procedures. In particular, driving an unshielded screen through a heterogeneous sequence will often lead to a buildup of low-K material that can be difficult to remove with standard development procedures.