Traditionally, pumping-test-analysis methodology has been limited to applications involving aquifers whose properties are assumed uniform in space. This work attempts to assess the applicability of analytical methodology to a broader class of units with spatially varying properties. An examination of flow behavior in a simple configuration consisting of pumping from the center of a circular disk embedded in a matrix of differing properties is the basis for this investigation. A solution describing flow in this configuration is obtained through Laplace-transform techniques using analytical and numerical inversion schemes. Approaches for the calculation of flow properties in conditions that can be roughly represented by this simple configuration are proposed. Possible applications include a wide variety of geologic structures, as well as the case of a well skin resulting from drilling or development. Of more importance than the specifics of these techniques for analysis of water-level responses is the insight into flow behavior during a pumping test that is provided by the large-time form of the derived solution. The solution reveals that drawdown during a pumping test can be considered to consist of two components that are dependent and independent of near-well properties, respectively. Such an interpretation of pumping-test drawdown allows some general conclusions to be drawn concerning the relationship between parameters calculated using analytical approaches based on curve-matching and those calculated using approaches based on the slope of a semilog straight line plot. The infinite-series truncation that underlies the semilog analytical approaches is shown to remove further contributions of near-well material to total drawdown. In addition, the semilog distance-drawdown approach is shown to yield an expression that is equivalent to the Thiem equation. These results allow some general recommendations to be made concerning observation-well placement for pumping tests in nonuniform aquifers. The relative diffusivity of material on either side of a discontinuity is shown to be the major factor in controlling flow behavior during the period in which the front of the cone of depression is moving across the discontinuity. Though resulting from an analysis of flow in an idealized configuration, the insights of this work into flow behavior during a pumping test are applicable to a wide class of nonuniform units. ?? 1988.
Additional publication details
Pumping tests in nonuniform aquifers - The radially symmetric case