• Direct-push permeameter;
  • hydraulic conductivity;
  • numerical simulation;
  • site characterization;
  • parameter estimation

[1] The direct-push permeameter (DPP) is a tool for the in situ characterization of hydraulic conductivity (K) in shallow, unconsolidated formations. This device, which consists of a short screened section with a pair of pressure transducers near the screen, is advanced into the subsurface with direct-push technology. K is determined through a series of injection tests conducted between advancements. Recent field work by Butler et al. (2007) has shown that the DPP holds great potential for describing vertical variations in K at an unprecedented level of detail, accuracy and speed. In this paper, the fundamental efficacy of the DPP is evaluated through a series of numerical simulations. These simulations demonstrate that the DPP can provide accurate K information under conditions commonly faced in the field. A single DPP test provides an effective K for the domain immediately surrounding the interval between the injection screen and the most distant pressure transducer. Features that are thinner than that interval can be quantified by reducing the vertical distance between successive tests and analyzing the data from all tests simultaneously. A particular advantage of the DPP is that, unlike most other single borehole techniques, a low-K skin or a clogged screen has a minimal impact on the K estimate. In addition, the requirement that only steady-shape conditions be attained allows for a dramatic reduction in the time required for each injection test.