Hydraulic Tomography at North Campus Research Site: Let Data Tell the Story

Friday, 19 December 2014
Tian-Chyi J Yeh and Chak Hau M Tso, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, United States
Hydraulic tomography (HT) is a sequential cross-hole hydraulic test followed by inversion of the data to map the spatial distribution of aquifer hydraulic properties (Yeh and Liu, 2000). We provide a focused, qualitative discussion on the hydraulic tomography data reported in Berg and Illman (2011). At the North Campus Research Site (NCRS) of the University of Waterloo, 8 pumping tests are conducted sequentially at different locations of the well field while drawdown is monitored at 44 ports distributed at 8 other wells. Without conducting inverse modeling, we discuss the behavior of the drawdown curves and the temporal evolution head field in response to pumping location, heterogeneity in aquifer parameters (i.e. hydraulic conductivity (K) and specific storage (Ss)), flow regimes, and boundary conditions.

We emphasize the importance and direct benefits for conducting hydraulic tomography surveys relies primarily on the collection of non-redundant data, not on the inverse models. This paper attempts to use an intuitive/logical approach to qualitative hydraulic tomography analysis. Our interpretation on the aquifer heterogeneity largely agrees with the intensive core sampling (i.e. local K measurements) and inverse modeling results. We conclude some of the inspection procedures can be beneficial before the inversion of data, while the quantitative and unifying estimation of hydraulic parameter fields can only be done using an inverse model.