A general analytical model for head response to oscillatory pumping in unconfined aquifers: Effects of delayed gravity drainage and initial condition

Ching Sheng Huang*, Ya Hsin Tsai, Hund-Der Yeh, Tao Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oscillatory pumping tests (OPTs) provide an alternative to constant-head and constant-rate pumping tests for determining aquifer hydraulic parameters when OPT data are analyzed based on an associated analytical model coupled with an optimization approach. There are a large number of analytical models presented for the analysis of the OPT. The combined effects of delayed gravity drainage (DGD) and the initial condition regarding the hydraulic head are commonly neglected in the existing models. This study aims to develop a new model for describing the hydraulic head fluctuation induced by the OPT in an unconfined aquifer. The model contains a groundwater flow equation with the initial condition of a static water table, Neumann boundary condition specified at the rim of a partially screened well, and a free surface equation describing water table motion with the DGD effect. The solution is derived using the Laplace, finite-integral, and Weber transforms. Sensitivity analysis is carried out for exploring head response to the change in each hydraulic parameter. Results suggest that the DGD reduces to instantaneous gravity drainage in predicting transient head fluctuation when the dimensionless parameter a1 D Syb=Kz exceeds 500 with empirical constant , specific yield Sy, aquifer thickness b, and vertical hydraulic conductivity Kz. The water table can be regarded as a no-flow boundary when a1 < 102 and P < 104 s, with P being the period of the oscillatory pumping rate. A pseudo-steady-state model without the initial condition causes a time-shift from the actual transient model in predicting simple harmonic motion of head fluctuation during a late pumping period. In addition, the present solution agrees well with head fluctuation data observed at the Savannah River site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1323-1337
Number of pages15
JournalHydrology and Earth System Sciences
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 8 Mar 2019

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