Assessing specific-capacity data and short-term aquifer testing to estimate hydraulic properties in alluvial aquifers of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA
Study Region: Rocky Mountains, United States
Study Focus: Groundwater-flow modeling requires estimates of hydraulic properties, namely hydraulic conductivity. Hydraulic conductivity values commonly vary over orders of magnitudes however and estimation may require extensive field campaigns applying slug or pumping tests. As an alternative, specific-capacity tests can be used to estimate hydraulic properties for large areas when benchmarked with slug or pumping tests. This study combined aquifer testing with specific capacity data to estimate hydraulic properties in a large alluvial aquifer.
New hydrological insights for region: In the Wet Mountain Valley, Colorado, both slug tests and pumping tests were conducted, resulting in a likely range of hydraulic-conductivity values. Aquifer-testing results were related to specific-capacity data, a more spatially distributed dataset, to expand the area of aquifer characterization beyond the distribution of wells included in aquifer testing. Specific-capacity data were used in two ways: (1) a regression was built between specific-capacity values and transmissivity derived from aquifer testing; and (2) an iterative method was utilized to estimate transmissivity from specific capacity at all sites (including sites lacking aquifer tests). Study results indicate that there is a statistically significant difference between hydraulic-conductivity values estimated using the two approaches and that the regression method yields systematically greater values. These results indicate that careful consideration of methods that use specific capacity for extrapolating aquifer properties is warranted as bias could be introduced depending on the applied methodology.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Assessing specific-capacity data and short-term aquifer testing to estimate hydraulic properties in alluvial aquifers of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA|
|Series title||Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies|
|Contributing office(s)||Colorado Water Science Center|
|Description||100949, 20 p.|
|Other Geospatial||Rocky Mountains, Wet Mountain Valley|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|