Report Abstract

USE OF AIR-PRESSURIZED SLUG TESTS TO ESTIMATE HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY AT SELECTED PIEZOMETERS COMPLETED IN THE SANTA FE GROUP AQUIFER SYSTEM, ALBUQUERQUE AREA, NEW MEXICO

By Carole L. Thomas and Conde R. Thorn

The City of Albuquerque Public Works Department, Water Resources Management (City), is interested in quantifying aquifer hydraulic properties in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, area to better understand and manage water resources in the Middle Rio Grande Basin. In 1998, the City and the U.S. Geological Survey entered into a cooperative program to determine hydraulic properties of aquifer material adjacent to screened intervals of piezometers in the Albuquerque area.

Investigators conducted slug tests from March 8 through April 8, 1999, to estimate hydraulic conductivity of aquifer material adjacent to the screened intervals of 25 piezometers from 11 nested- piezometer sites in the Albuquerque area. At 20 of the piezometers, slug-test responses were typical; at 2 piezometers, tests were prematurely terminated because the tests were taking too long to complete; and at 3 piezometers, test responses were oscillatory. Methods used to estimate hydraulic conductivity were the Bouwer and Rice method or the Cooper, Bredehoeft, and Papadopulos method for most tests; the Shapiro and Greene method for prematurely terminated tests; and the van der Kamp method for oscillatory tests.

Hydraulic-conductivity estimates ranged from about 0.15 to 92 feet per day. In general, the smaller estimated values are associated with fine-grained aquifer materials and the larger estimated hydraulic-conductivity values are associated with coarse- grained aquifer materials adjacent to the screened intervals of the piezometers. Hydraulic-conductivity estimates ranged from 0.15 to 8.2 feet per day for aquifer materials adjacent to the screened intervals at 12 piezometers and from 12 to 41 feet per day for aquifer materials adjacent to the screened intervals at 10 piezometers. Hydraulic-conductivity estimates at four piezometers were greater than 41 feet per day.

Abstract from WRIR 00-4253



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