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Analytical Methods for Transient Flow to a Well in a Confined-Unconfined Aquifer


Institute of Environmental Geology, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, People’s Republic of China; (86)-10-82322725; fax: (86)-10-58802739;


Concurrent existence of confined and unconfined zones of an aquifer can arise owing to ground water withdrawal by pumping. Using Girinskii’s potential function, Chen (1974, 1983) developed an approximate analytical solution to analyze transient ground water flow to a pumping well in an aquifer that changes from an initially confined system to a system with both unconfined and confined regimes. This article presents the details of the Chen model and then compares it with the analytical model developed by Moench and Prickett (1972) for the same problem. Hypothetical pumping test examples in which the aquifer undergoes conversion from confined to water table conditions are solved by the two analytical models and also a numerical model based on MODFLOW. Comparison of the results suggests that the solutions of the Chen model give better results than the Moench and Prickett model except when the radial distance is very large or aquifer thickness is large compared with drawdown.

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