Transient well flow in vertically heterogeneous aquifers.

C.J. Hemker

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    A solution for the general problem of computing well flow in vertically heterogeneous aquifers is found by an integration of both analytical and numerical techniques. The radial component of flow is treated analytically; the drawdown is a continuous function of the distance to the well. The finite-difference technique is used for the vertical flow component only. The aquifer is discretized in the vertical dimension and the heterogeneous aquifer is considered to be a layered (stratified) formation with a finite number of homogeneous sublayers, where each sublayer may have different properties. The transient part of the differential equation is solved with Stehfest's algorithm, a numerical inversion technique of the Laplace transform. The well is of constant discharge and penetrates one or more of the sublayers. The effect of wellbore storage on early drawdown data is taken into account. In this way drawdowns are found for a finite number of sublayers as a continuous function of radial distance to the well and of time since the pumping started. The model is verified by comparing results with published analytical and numerical solutions for well flow in homogeneous and heterogeneous, confined and unconfined aquifers. Instantaneous and delayed drainage of Water from above the water table are considered, combined with the effects of partially penetrating and finite-diameter wells. The model is applied to demonstrate that the transient effects of wellbore storage in unconfined aquifers are less pronounced than previous numerical experiments suggest. Other applications of the presented solution technique are given for partially penetrating wells in heterogeneous formations, including a demonstration of the effect of decreasing specific storage values with depth in an otherwise homogeneous aquifer. The presented solution can be a powerful tool for the analysis of drawdown from pumping tests, because hydraulic properties of layered heterogeneous aquifer systems with partially penetrating wells may be estimated without the need to construct transient numerical models. A computer program based on the hybrid analytical-numerical technique is available from the author.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    JournalJournal of Hydrology
    Volume225
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

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