Validity of flowmeter data in heterogeneous alluvial aquifers

Bianchi, Marco. 2017 Validity of flowmeter data in heterogeneous alluvial aquifers. Advances in Water Resources, 102. 29-44.

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Numerical simulations are performed to evaluate the impact of medium-scale sedimentary architecture and small-scale heterogeneity on the validity of the borehole flowmeter test, a widely used method for measuring hydraulic conductivity (K) at the scale required for detailed groundwater flow and solute transport simulations. Reference data from synthetic K fields representing the range of structures and small-scale heterogeneity typically observed in alluvial systems are compared with estimated values from numerical simulations of flowmeter tests. Systematic errors inherent in the flowmeter K estimates are significant when the reference K field structure deviates from the hypothetical perfectly stratified conceptual model at the basis of the interpretation method of flowmeter tests. Because of these errors, the true variability of the K field is underestimated and the distributions of the reference K data and log-transformed spatial increments are also misconstrued. The presented numerical analysis shows that the validity of flowmeter based K data depends on measureable parameters defining the architecture of the hydrofacies, the conductivity contrasts between the hydrofacies and the sub-facies-scale K variability. A preliminary geological characterization is therefore essential for evaluating the optimal approach for accurate K field characterization.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 03091708
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Surface water interaction
Date made live: 30 Jan 2017 15:25 +0 (UTC)

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