We model and measure the dissipation of water hammer induced by well casing and water elasticity with rapid valve opening at the start of a pneumatic slug test. The higher-frequency water hammer can obscure slower, aquifer-controlled, underdamped oscillations of the rigid water column, so a quantitative description of the elastic motion improves the ability of a slug test to calibrate the aquifer permeability\ *k*. Internal friction attenuates the water hammer, subject to a known headspace pressure at the air/water interface and equilibrium pressure at the top of the well screen. An analytical elastic solution is presented and matched to an existing rigid motion analysis, with matching predicated on\ *k*\ exceeding 7 \× 10\−14\ m2\ and appreciable water hammer dissipation during the first cycle of the slug test. The model is accurately calibrated with data from underdamped slug tests in a PVC monitoring well in the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer. The calibrated casing elasticity value suggests that effective lateral soil stress appreciably stiffened the casing.

We incorporate a linear estimate of casing friction into the analytical slug test theory of Springer and Gelhar (1991) for high permeability aquifers. The modified theory elucidates the influence of inertia and casing friction on consistent, closed form equations for the free surface, pressure, and velocity fluctuations for overdamped and underdamped conditions. A consistent, but small, correction for kinetic energy is included as well. A characteristic velocity linearizes the turbulent casing shear stress so that an analytical solution for attenuated, phase shifted pressure fluctuations fits a single parameter (damping frequency) to transducer data from any depth in the casing. Underdamped slug tests of 0.3, 0.6, and 1 m amplitudes at five transducer depths in a 5.1 cm diameter PVC well 21 m deep in the Plymouth-Carver Aquifer yield a consistent hydraulic conductivity of 1.5 x 10(-3) m/s. The Springer and Gelhar (1991) model underestimates the hydraulic conductivity for these tests by as much as 25\% by improperly ascribing smooth turbulent casing friction to the aquifer. The match point normalization of Butler (1998) agrees with our fitted hydraulic conductivity, however, when friction is included in the damping frequency. Zurbuchen et al. (2002) use a numerical model to establish a similar sensitivity of hydraulic conductivity to nonlinear casing friction.

}, doi = {10.1111/j.1745-6584.2005.tb02288.x}, author = {Ostendorf, David W. and Degroot, Don J. and Dunaj, Philip J. and Jakubowski, J.} }