Interpretation of pumping tests to estimate hydraulic parameter values is typically based on the assumption of aquifer homogeneity. The applicability of the traditional methods of interpretation in real aquifers can be questioned, since the evaluation of the drawdown curves observed at different locations in a single test may not result in one consistent set of hydraulic parameters. Thus most hydrogeologists tend to look at estimated transmissivities () as some average property of the medium, while estimated storativities () are disregarded in some cases, particularly when they are obtained from data measured at the pumping well. An analytical study of drawdown under radially convergent flow toward a single point in heterogeneous aquifers shows that large time drawdown values form a straight line on a drawdown versus log time plot. Jacob's method consists of obtaining estimates for and from the slope and intercept of this line. We find that even in a heterogeneous field, these estimates provide valuable information about the aquifer. Estimated values for different observation points tend to converge to a single value, which corresponds to the effective derived under parallel flow conditions. Estimated storativities, however, display higher variability, but the geometric mean of the values can be used as an unbiased estimator of the actual . Thus it appears that although Jacob's method was originally derived for homogeneous media, it can provide valuable information in real aquifers.

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Published on 01/01/1999

DOI: 10.1029/1999WR900007
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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