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Evaluation of hydraulic conductivities calculated from multi-port permeameter measurements

July 1, 1991

A multiport permeameter was developed for use in estimating hydraulic conductivity over intact sections of aquifer core using the core liner as the permeameter body. Six cores obtained from one borehole through the upper 9 m of a stratified glacial-outwash aquifer were used to evaluate the reliability of the permeameter. Radiographs of the cores were used to assess core integrity and to locate 5- to 10-cm sections of similar grain size for estimation of hydraulic conductivity. After extensive testing of the permeameter, hydraulic conductivities were determined for 83 sections of the six cores. Other measurement techniques included permeameter measurements on repacked sections of core, estimates based on grain-size analyses, and estimates based on borehole flowmeter measurements. Permeameter measurements of 33 sections of core that had been extruded, homogenized, and repacked did not differ significantly from the original measurements. Hydraulic conductivities estimated from grain-size distributions were slightly higher than those calculated from permeameter measurements; the significance of the difference depended on the estimating equation used. Hydraulic conductivities calculated from field measurements, using a borehole flowmeter in the borehole from which the cores were extracted, were significantly higher than those calculated from laboratory measurements and more closely agreed with independent estimates of hydraulic conductivity based on tracer movement near the borehole. This indicates that hydraulic conductivities based on laboratory measurements of core samples may underestimate actual field hydraulic conductivities in this type of stratified glacial-outwash aquifer.

Publication Year 1991
Title Evaluation of hydraulic conductivities calculated from multi-port permeameter measurements
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-6584.1991.tb00543.x
Authors Steven H. Wolf, Michael A. Celia, Kathryn M. Hess
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Groundwater
Index ID 70185807
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program