Variations in solar radiation can produce noise in readings from gauge pressure transducers when the transducer cable is exposed to direct sunlight. This noise is a result of insolation-induced heating and cooling of the air column in the vent tube of the transducer cable. A controlled experiment was performed to assess the impact of variations in solar radiation on transducer readings. This experiment demonstrated that insolation-induced fluctuations in apparent pressure head can be as large as 0.03 m. The magnitude of these fluctuations is dependent on cable color, the diameter of the vent tube, and the length of the transducer cable. The most effective means of minimizing insolation-induced noise is to use integrated transducer-data logger units that fit within a well. Failure to address this source of noise can introduce considerable uncertainty into analyses of hydraulic tests when the head change is relatively small, as is often the case for tests in highly permeable aquifers or for tests using distant observation wells.
Additional publication details
Noise in pressure transducer readings produced by variations in solar radiation