Characterizing Hydraulic Conductivity with the Direct-Push Permeameter
Article first published online: 12 MAR 2007
2007 National Ground Water Association
Volume 45, Issue 4, pages 409–419, July–August 2007
How to Cite
Butler, J. J., Dietrich, P., Wittig, V. and Christy, T. (2007), Characterizing Hydraulic Conductivity with the Direct-Push Permeameter. Groundwater, 45: 409–419. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2007.00300.x
- Issue published online: 12 MAR 2007
- Article first published online: 12 MAR 2007
- Received September 2006, accepted December 2006.
The direct-push permeameter (DPP) is a promising approach for obtaining high-resolution information about vertical variations in hydraulic conductivity (K) in shallow unconsolidated settings. This small-diameter tool, which consists of a short screened section with a pair of transducers inset in the tool near the screen, is pushed into the subsurface to a depth at which a K estimate is desired. A short hydraulic test is then performed by injecting water through the screen at a constant rate (less than 4 L/min) while pressure changes are monitored at the transducer locations. Hydraulic conductivity is calculated using the injection rate and the pressure changes in simple expressions based on Darcy’s Law. In units of moderate or higher hydraulic conductivity (more than 1 m/d), testing at a single level can be completed within 10 to 15 min. Two major advantages of the method are its speed and the insensitivity of the K estimates to the zone of compaction created by tool advancement. The potential of the approach has been assessed at two extensively studied sites in the United States and Germany over a K range commonly faced in practical field investigations (0.02 to 500 m/d). The results of this assessment demonstrate that the DPP can provide high-resolution K estimates that are in good agreement with estimates obtained through other means.