Evaluation of Analytical Methods to Study Aquifer Properties with Pumping Tests in Coastal Aquifers with Numerical Modelling (Motril-Salobreña Aquifer)
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AuthorCalvache Quesada, María Luisa; Sánchez Úbeda, Juan Pedro; Duque, C; López Chicano, Manuel; Torre, B. de la
Pumping testCostal aquiferVertical heterogeneityTheis solution
Calvache, M. L., Sánchez-Úbeda, J. P., Duque, C., López-Chicano, M., & De la Torre, B. (2016). Evaluation of analytical methods to study aquifer properties with pumping tests in coastal aquifers with numerical modelling (Motril-Salobreña aquifer). Water resources management, 30(2), 559-575.
SponsorshipThis research has been financed by Project CGL2012-32892 (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain) and by the Research Group Sedimentary Geology and Groundwater (RNM-369) of the Junta de Andalucía.
Two pumping tests were performed in the unconfined Motril-Salobreña detrital aquifer in a 250 m-deep well 300 m from the coastline containing both freshwater and saltwater. It is an artesian well as it is in the discharge zone of this coastal aquifer. The two observation wells where the drawdowns are measured record the influence of tidal fluctuations, and the well lithological columns reveal high vertical heterogeneity in the aquifer. The Theis and Cooper-Jacob approaches give average transmissivity (T) and storage coefficient (S) values of 1460 m2 /d and 0.027, respectively. Other analytical solutions, modified to be more accurate in the boundary conditions found in coastal aquifers, provide similar T values to those found with the Theis and Cooper-Jacob methods, but give very different S values or could not estimate them. Numerical modelling in a synthetic model was applied to analyse the sensitivity of the Theis and Cooper-Jacob approaches to the usual boundary conditions in coastal aquifers. The T and S values calculated from the numerical modelling drawdowns indicate that the regional flow, variable pumping flows, and tidal effect produce an error of under 10 % compared to results obtained with classic methods. Fluids of different density (freshwater and saltwater) cause an error of 20 % in estimating T and of over 100 % in calculating S. The factor most affecting T and S results in the pumping test interpretation is vertical heterogeneity in sediments, which can produce errors of over 100 % in both parameters.