Generalized Radial Flow in Synthetic Flow Systems
Article first published online: 30 NOV 2012
© 2012, The Author(s). Groundwater © 2012, National Ground Water Association
Volume 51, Issue 5, pages 768–774, September/October 2013
How to Cite
Bowman, D. O., Roberts, R. M. and Holt, R. M. (2013), Generalized Radial Flow in Synthetic Flow Systems. Groundwater, 51: 768–774. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2012.01014.x
- Issue published online: 4 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 30 NOV 2012
- Received May 2012, accepted October 2012.
Traditional analysis methods used to determine hydraulic properties from pumping tests work well in many porous media aquifers, but they often do not work in heterogeneous and fractured-rock aquifers, producing non-plausible and erroneous results. The generalized radial flow model developed by Barker (1988) can reveal information about heterogeneity characteristics and aquifer geometry from pumping test data by way of a flow dimension parameter. The physical meaning of non-integer flow dimensions has long been a subject of debate and research. We focus on understanding and interpreting non-radial flow through high permeability conduits within fractured aquifers. We develop and simulate flow within idealized non-radial flow conduits and expand on this concept by simulating pumping in non-fractal random fields with specific properties that mimic persistent sub-radial flow responses. Our results demonstrate that non-integer flow dimensions can arise from non-fractal geometries within aquifers. We expand on these geometric concepts and successfully simulate pumping in random fields that mimic well-test responses seen in the Culebra Dolomite above the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.