Description: A new technology called the In Situ Permeable Flow Sensor has been developed at Sandia National Laboratories. These sensors use a thermal perturbation technique to directly measure the direction and magnitude of the full three dimensional groundwater flow velocity vector in unconsolidated, saturated, porous media. The velocity measured is an average value characteristic of an approximately 1 cubic meter volume of the subsurface. During a test at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, two flow sensors were deployed in a confined aquifer in close proximity to a well which was screened over the entire vertical extent of the aquifer and the well was pumped at four different pumping rates. In this situation horizontal flow which is radially directed toward the pumping well is expected. The flow sensors measured horizontal flow which was directed toward the pumping well, within the uncertainty in the measurements. The observed magnitude of the horizontal component of the flow velocity increased linearly with pumping rate, as predicted by theoretical considerations. The measured horizontal component of the flow velocity differed from the predicted flow velocity, which was calculated with the assumptions that the hydraulic properties of the aquifer were radially homogeneous and isotropic, by less than a factor of two. Drawdown data obtained from other wells near the pumping well during the pump test indicate that the hydraulic properties of the aquifer are probably not radially homogeneous but the effect of the inhomogeneity on the flow velocity field around the pumping well was not modeled because the degree and distribution of the inhomogeneity are unknown. Grain size analysis of core samples from wells in the area were used to estimate the vertical distribution of hydraulic conductivity.
Date: March 1, 1994
Creator: Ballard, S.; Barker, G. T. & Nichols, R. L.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department