Characterization of a high-transmissivity zone by well test analysis: Steady state case

Water Resources Research
By: , and 



A method is developed to analyze steady horizontal flow to a well pumped from a confined aquifer composed of two homogeneous zones with contrasting transmissivities. Zone 1 is laterally unbounded and encloses zone 2, which is elliptical in shape and is several orders of magnitude more transmissive than zone 1. The solution for head is obtained by the boundary integral equation method. Nonlinear least squares regression is used to estimate the model parameters, which include the transmissivity of zone 1, and the location, size, and orientation of zone 2. The method is applied to a hypothetical aquifer where zone 2 is a long and narrow zone of vertical fractures. Synthetic data are generated from three different well patterns, representing different areal coverage and proximity to the fracture zone. When zone 1 of the hypothetical aquifer is homogeneous, the method correctly estimates all model parameters. When zone 1 is a randomly heterogeneous transmissivity field, some parameter estimates, especially the length of zone 2, become highly uncertain. To reduce uncertainty, the pumped well should be close to the fracture zone, and surrounding observation wells should cover an area similar in dimension to the length of the fracture zone. Some prior knowledge of the fracture zone, such as that gained from a surface geophysical survey, would greatly aid in designing the well test.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Characterization of a high-transmissivity zone by well test analysis: Steady state case
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/94WR01965
Volume 31
Issue 1
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 11 p.
First page 27
Last page 37
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