Accurate knowledge of hydrogeological parameters is essential for groundwater modeling, protection and remediation. Three methods (type curve fitting method, inflection point method and global curve-fitting method (GCFM)) which are frequently applied in the estimation of leaky aquifer parameters were compared using synthetic pumping tests. The results revealed GCFM could provide best parameter estimation among the three methods with fewer uncertainties associated with the processes of parameter estimation. GCFM was also found to be both time saving and of low cost and is thus more preferable for hydrogeological parameter estimation than the other two methods. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.