The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Unconfined aquifer response to infiltration basins and shallow pump tests

TitleUnconfined aquifer response to infiltration basins and shallow pump tests
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsOstendorf DW, Degroot DJ, Hinlein ES
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Start Page132
Date Published05/2007
KeywordsDelayed recharge, Elasticity and compressibility, Infiltration basins, Specific yield, Unconfined aquifer hydraulics

We measure and model the unsteady, axisymmetric response of an unconfined aquifer to delayed, arbitrary recharge. Water table drainage follows the initial elastic aquifer response, as modeled for uniform, instantaneous recharge by Zlotnik and Ledder [Zlotnik, V., Ledder, G., 1992. Groundwater flow in a compressible unconfined aquifer with uniform circular recharge. Water Resources Research 28(6), 1619–1630] and delayed drainage by Moench [Moench, A.F., 1995. Combining the Neuman and Boulton models for flow to a well in an unconfined aquifer. Ground Water 33(3), 378–384]. We extend their analyses with a convolution integral that models the delayed response of an aquifer to infiltration from a circular infiltration basin. The basin routes the hydrograph to the water table with a decay constant dependent on a Brooks and Corey [Brooks, R.H., Corey, A.T., 1966. Properties of porous media affecting fluid flow. Journal of the Irrigation and Drainage Division ASCE 92(2), 61–88] unsaturated permeability exponent. The resulting closed form model approaches Neuman’s [Neuman, S.P., 1972. Theory of flow in unconfined aquifers considering delayed response of the water table. Water Resources Research 8(4), 1031–1045] partially penetrating pump test equation for a small source radius, instantaneous, uniform drainage and a shallow screen section. Irrigation pump data at a well characterized part of the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer in southeastern Massachusetts calibrate the small source model, while infiltration data from the closed drainage system of State Route 25 calibrate the infiltration basin model. The calibrated permeability, elasticity, specific yield, and permeability exponent are plausible and consistent for the pump and infiltration data sets.