Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.01.022
Title (Primary) Field evaluation of methods for determining hydraulic conductivity from grain size data
Author Vienken, T.; Dietrich, P. ORCID logo
Source Titel Journal of Hydrology
Year 2011
Department MET
Volume 400
Issue 1-2
Page From 58
Page To 71
Language englisch
Keywords hydraulic conductivity; sieve analysis; grain size distribution; direct push slug test; sonic sampling; Bitterfeld
Abstract Determination of hydraulic conductivity (K) and its variation in space is often a major objective of hydrogeological site investigations. However, measurement of K at a high spatial resolution in sedimentary aquifers is a challenge. There are a number of field methods that can be used to determine K, although they differ greatly in terms of their spatial resolution. One commonly used approach is to estimate K from grain size analyses, but the reliability of the resulting K estimates is unclear. The aims of this study are to compare frequently used formulas for the determination of K from grain size data for a broad range of sediment types and to evaluate how well these methods predict K. Sonic sampling was used to obtain minimally disturbed cores in a highly heterogeneous sedimentary aquifer and K values of grain size analyses from 108 core samples were calculated. Despite the high correlation of calculated K derived from different formulas, mean K values differed by several orders of magnitude between the formulas. For the evaluation of the reliability of the K estimates, high resolution direct push slug tests (DPSTs) were also performed in the close vicinity of the cores. A high correlation between ln(K) and ln(K) was found for most of the applied formulas. Nevertheless, sample heterogeneity, i.e. the presence of small clay layers in a generally highly permeable sample, led to K estimates that were significantly smaller than the K estimates. Based on these results, the applied formulas appear to be suitable for an initial assessment of aquifer K. However, considering the difference in calculated K mean values, results are not sufficiently reliable for the high resolution analyses of K variations needed for flow or transport modeling.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Vienken, T., Dietrich, P. (2011):
Field evaluation of methods for determining hydraulic conductivity from grain size data
J. Hydrol. 400 (1-2), 58 - 71 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.01.022