Assessing the likely value of gravity and drawdown measurements to constrain estimates of hydraulic conductivity and specific yield during unconfined aquifer testing

Joan B. Blainey, Ty P.A. Ferré, Jeff T. Cordova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Pumping of an unconfined aquifer can cause local desaturation detectable with high-resolution gravimetry. A previous study showed that signal-to-noise ratios could be predicted for gravity measurements based on a hydrologic model. We show that although changes should be detectable with gravimeters, estimations of hydraulic conductivity and specific yield based on gravity data alone are likely to be unacceptably inaccurate and imprecise. In contrast, a transect of low-quality drawdown data alone resulted in accurate estimates of hydraulic conductivity and inaccurate and imprecise estimates of specific yield. Combined use of drawdown and gravity data, or use of high-quality drawdown data alone, resulted in unbiased and precise estimates of both parameters. This study is an example of the value of a staged assessment regarding the likely significance of a new measurement method or monitoring scenario before collecting field data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberW12408
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume43
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology

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