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Comparison of hydraulic conductivities for a sand and gravel aquifer in southeastern Massachusetts, estimated by three methods

September 1, 1996

Hydraulic conductivities of a sand and gravel aquifer were estimated by three methods: constant- head multiport-permeameter tests, grain-size analyses (with the Hazen approximation method), and slug tests. Sediment cores from 45 boreholes were undivided or divided into two or three vertical sections to estimate hydraulic conductivity based on permeameter tests and grain-size analyses. The cores were collected from depth intervals in the screened zone of the aquifer in each observation well. Slug tests were performed on 29 observation wells installed in the boreholes. Hydraulic conductivities of 35 sediment cores estimated by use of permeameter tests ranged from 0.9 to 86 meters per day, with a mean of 22.8 meters per day. Hydraulic conductivities of 45 sediment cores estimated by use of grain-size analyses ranged from 0.5 to 206 meters per day, with a mean of 40.7 meters per day. Hydraulic conductivities of aquifer material at 29 observation wells estimated by use of slug tests ranged from 0.6 to 79 meters per day, with a mean of 32.9 meters per day. The repeatability of estimated hydraulic conductivities were estimated to be within 30 percent for the permeameter method, 12 percent for the grain-size method, and 9.5 percent for the slug test method. Statistical tests determined that the medians of estimates resulting from the slug tests and grain-size analyses were not significantly different but were significantly higher than the median of estimates resulting from the permeameter tests. Because the permeameter test is the only method considered which estimates vertical hydraulic conductivity, the difference in estimates may be attributed to vertical or horizontal anisotropy. The difference in the average hydraulic conductivities estimated by use of each method was less than 55 percent when compared to the estimated hydraulic conductivity determined from an aquifer test conducted near the study area.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1996
Title Comparison of hydraulic conductivities for a sand and gravel aquifer in southeastern Massachusetts, estimated by three methods
DOI 10.3133/wri954160
Authors L.P. Warren, P. E. Church, Michael Turtora
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 95-4160
Index ID wri954160
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization