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Standard Test Method for Determining Transmissivity and Storage Coefficient of Bounded, Nonleaky, Confined Aquifers

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Standard Test Method for Determining Transmissivity and Storage Coefficient of Bounded, Nonleaky, Confined Aquifers


1.1 This test method covers an analytical procedure for determining the transmissivity, storage coefficient, and possible location of boundaries for a confined aquifer with a linear boundary. This test method is used to analyze water-level or head data from one or more observation wells or piezometers during the pumping of water from a control well at a constant rate. This test method also applies to flowing artesian wells discharging at a constant rate. With appropriate changes in sign, this test method also can be used to analyze the effects of injecting water into a control well at a constant rate.

1.2 The analytical procedure in this test method is used in conjunction with the field procedure in Test Method D4050.

1.3 Limitations—The valid use of this test method is limited to determination of transmissivities and storage coefficients for aquifers in hydrogeologic settings with reasonable correspondence to the assumptions of the Theis nonequilibrium method (see Test Method D4106) (see 5.1), except that the aquifer is limited in areal extent by a linear boundary that fully penetrates the aquifer. The boundary is assumed to be either a constant-head boundary (equivalent to a stream or lake that hydraulically fully penetrates the aquifer) or a no-flow (impermeable) boundary (equivalent to a contact with a significantly less permeable rock unit). The Theis nonequilibrium method is described in Test Methods D4105 and D4106.

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Significance and Use

5.1 Assumptions:

5.1.1 The well discharges at a constant rate.

5.1.2 Well is of infinitesimal diameter and is open through the full thickness of the aquifer.

5.1.3 The nonleaky confined aquifer is homogeneous, isotropic, and areally extensive except where limited by linear boundaries.

5.1.4 Discharge from the well is derived initially from storage in the aquifer; later, movement of water may be induced from a constant-head boundary into the aquifer.

5.1.5 The geometry of the assumed aquifer and well are shown in Fig. 1 or Fig. 2.

5.1.6 Boundaries are vertical planes, infinite in length that fully penetrate the aquifer. No water is yielded to the aquifer by impermeable boundaries, whereas recharging boundaries are in perfect hydraulic connection with the aquifer.

5.1.7 Observation wells represent the head in the aquifer; that is, the effects of wellbore storage in the observation wells are negligible.

5.2 Implications of Assumptions:

5.2.1 Implicit in the assumptions are the conditions of a fully-penetrating control well and observation wells of infinitesimal diameter in a confined aquifer. Under certain conditions, aquifer tests can be successfully analyzed when the control well is open to only part of the aquifer or contains a significant volume of water or when the test is conducted in an unconfined aquifer. These conditions are discussed in more detail in Test Method D4105.

5.2.2 In cases in which this test method is used to locate an unknown boundary, a minimum of three observation wells is needed. If only two observation wells are available, two possible locations of the boundary are defined, and if only one observation well is used, a circle describing all possible locations of the image well is defined.

5.2.3 The effects of a constant-head boundary are often indistinguishable from the effects of a leaky, confined aquifer. Therefore, care must be taken to ensure that a correct conceptual model of the system has been created prior to analyzing the test. See Guide D4043.

5.3 Practice D3740 provides evaluation factors for the activities in this standard.

Note 2The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etc. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors."


aquifer boundaries; aquifer tests; aquifers; confined aquifers; control wells; groundwater; hydraulic properties; image wells; observation wells; storage coefficient; transmissivity

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

04.08 (Soil and Rock (I): D420 - D5876)

To find similar documents by classification:

13.060.10 (Water of natural resources)

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Document Number


Revision Level

1996 R14 EDITION



Modification Type


Publication Date

Feb. 15, 2014

Document Type

Test Method

Page Count

7 pages

Committee Number