Hydraulic Conductivity Variation in a Confined Aquifer

Sen Z.

JOURNAL OF HYDROLOGIC ENGINEERING, vol.19, no.3, pp.654-658, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Most groundwater equations for flow toward wells use a set of assumptions and idealizations about the aquifer-well configuration so that analytical expressions can be derived for steady-state and unsteady-state flows. In this article, the main assumption in these equations is that constant hydraulic conductivity is relaxed and instead allows radial variability. The basic question is how the hydraulic conductivity gradient affects groundwater flow. Changes in hydraulic conductivity influence groundwater flow; any local changes in the hydraulic conductivity cause local changes in hydraulic gradient and in groundwater velocity. This problem is solved using water balance equations with changes in linear radial hydraulic conductivity. Simple but more general equations for groundwater flow toward wells are derived and applied to steady-state groundwater flows in a confined aquifer. This formulation reduces to the classical Theim solution for constant hydraulic conductivity. The use of this methodology is presented for steady-state groundwater measurement from a well in the Arabian Peninsula. It is observed that constant hydraulic conductivity underestimates transmissivity, compared to the numerical example given in this article, by about 41%.