The slug test is one of the most commonly used field methods for obtaining in situ estimates of hydraulic conductivity. Despite its prevalence, this method has received criticism from many quarters in the ground-water community. This criticism emphasizes the poor quality of the estimated parameters, a condition that is primarily a product of the somewhat casual approach that is often employed in slug tests. Recently, the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) has pursued research directed it improving methods for the performance and analysis of slug tests. Based on extensive theoretical and field research, a series of guidelines have been proposed that should enable the quality of parameter estimates to be improved. The most significant of these guidelines are: (1) three or more slug tests should be performed at each well during a given test period; (2) two or more different initial displacements (Ho) should be used at each well during a test period; (3) the method used to initiate a test should enable the slug to be introduced in a near-instantaneous manner and should allow a good estimate of Ho to be obtained; (4) data-acquisition equipment that enables a large quantity of high quality data to be collected should be employed; (5) if an estimate of the storage parameter is needed, an observation well other than the test well should be employed; (6) the method chosen for analysis of the slug-test data should be appropriate for site conditions; (7) use of pre- and post-analysis plots should be an integral component of the analysis procedure, and (8) appropriate well construction parameters should be employed. Data from slug tests performed at a number of KGS field sites demonstrate the importance of these guidelines.
Additional publication details
Improving the quality of parameter estimates obtained from slug tests