A Spreadsheet Program for Two-Well Tracer Test Data Analysis

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Abstract

Two-well tracer tests are often conducted to investigate subsurface solute transport in the field. Analyzing breakthrough curves in extraction and monitoring wells using numerical methods is nontrivial due to highly nonuniform flow conditions. We extended approximate analytical solutions for the advection-dispersion equation for an injection-extraction well doublet in a homogeneous confined aquifer under steady-state flow conditions for equal injection and extraction rates with no transverse dispersion and negligible ambient flow, and implemented the solutions in Microsoft Excel using Visual Basic for Application (VBA). Functions were implemented to calculate concentrations in extraction and monitoring wells at any location due to a step or pulse injection. Type curves for a step injection were compared with those calculated by numerically integrating the solution for a pulse injection. The results from the two approaches are similar when the dispersivity is small. As the dispersivity increases, the latter was found to be more accurate but requires more computing time. The code was verified by comparing the results with published-type curves and applied to analyze data from the literature. The method can be used as a first approximation for two-well tracer test design and data analysis, and to check accuracy of numerical solutions. The code and example files are publicly available.

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