Comparison of drilling reports and detailed geophysical analysis of ground-water production in bedrock wells

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The most extensive data base for fractured bedrock aquifers consists of drilling reports maintained by various state agencies. We investigated the accuracy and reliability of such reports by comparing a representative set of reports for nine wells drilled by conventional air percussion methods in granite with a suite of geophysical logs for the same wells designed to identify the depths of fractures intersecting the well bore which may have produced water during aquifer tests. Production estimates reported by the driller ranged from less than 1 to almost 10 gallons per minute. The moderate drawdowns maintained during subsequent production tests were associated with approximately the same flows as those measured when boreholes were dewatered during air percussion drilling. We believe the estimates of production during drilling and drawdown tests were similar because partial fracture zone dewatering during drilling prevented larger inflows otherwise expected from the steeper drawdowns during drilling. The fractures and fracture zones indicated on the drilling report and the amounts of water produced by these fractures during drilling generally agree with those identified from the geophysical log analysis. Most water production occurred from two fractured and weathered zones which are separated by an interval of unweathered granite. The fractures identified in the drilling reports show various depth discrepancies in comparison to the geophysical logs, which are subject to much better depth control. However, the depths of the fractures associated with water production on the drilling report are comparable to the depths of the fractures shown to be the source of water inflow in the geophysical log analysis. Other differences in the relative contribution of flow from fracture zones may by attributed to the differences between the hydraulic conditions during drilling, which represent large, prolonged drawdowns, and pumping tests, which consisted of smaller drawdowns maintained over shorter periods. We conclude that drilling reports filed by experienced well drillers contain useful information about the depth, thickness, degree of weathering, and production capacity of fracture zones supplying typical domestic water wells. The accuracy of this information could be improved if relatively simple and inexpensive geophysical well logs such as gamma, caliper, and normal resistivity logs were routinely run in conjunction with bedrock drilling projects.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Comparison of drilling reports and detailed geophysical analysis of ground-water production in bedrock wells
Series title Groundwater
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-6584.1994.tb00634.x
Volume 32
Issue 2
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 7 p.
First page 200
Last page 206
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