Measurement and Analysis of Hydraulic Conductivity Variability of a Heterogeneous Aquifer

by J. Mark Boggs, Tennessee Valley Authority, Norris, United States,
Kenneth R. Rehfeldt, Tennessee Valley Authority, Norris, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Symposium on Ground Water


The spatial variability of hydraulic conductivity of a shallow alluvial aquifer was investigated using borehole flowmeter measurements. The study was conducted at the site of a large-scale natural-gradient tracer experiment located at Columbus Air Force Base in northeastern Mississippi. The spatial covariance of the hydraulic conductivity field was examined using 2187 flowmeter measurements obtained from 49 flowmeter test wells. Large-scale variations in the mean conductivity of the aquifer were indicated by the flowmeter data and were evident in the tracer plume migration behavior. The measured hydraulic conductivity data were detrended using least-squares regression. Estimates for variance and the horizontal and vertical correlation scales of 2.8, 5.3, and 0.7 m, respectively, were obtained from the third-order log conductivity residuals. The experience with the borehole flowmeter technique shows the feasibility of observing hydraulic conductivity variability for groundwater flow and transport models.

Subject Headings: Hydraulic conductivity | Regression analysis | Spatial analysis | Heterogeneity | Probe instruments | Boring | Hydraulic models | Groundwater pollution | United States | Ohio | Mississippi

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