Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/610826
Title:
Analysis of Borehole Infiltration Tests Above the Water Table
Author:
Stephens, Daniel Bruce; Neuman, Shlomo P.
Publisher:
Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)
Issue Date:
1980-03
Rights:
Copyright © Arizona Board of Regents
Collection Information:
This title from the Hydrology & Water Resources Technical Reports collection is made available by the Department of Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences and the University Libraries, University of Arizona. If you have questions about titles in this collection, please contact repository@u.library.arizona.edu.
Abstract:
Constant head borehole infiltration tests are widely used for the in situ evaluation of saturated hydraulic conductivities of unsaturated soils above the water table. The formulae employed in analyzing the results of such tests disregard the fact that some of the infiltrating water may flow under unsaturated conditions. Instead, these formulae are based on various approximations of the classical free surface theory which treats the flow region as if it were fully saturated and enclosed within a distinct envelope, the so- called "free surface." A finite element model capable of solving free surface problems is used to examine the mathematical accuracy of the borehole infiltration formulae. The results show that in the hypothetical case where unsaturated flow does not exist, the approximate formulae are reasonably accurate within a practical range of borehole conditions. To see what happens under conditions closer to those actually encountered in the field, the effect of unsaturated flow on borehole infiltration is investigated by means of two different numerical models: A mixed explicit - implicit finite element model, and a mixed explicit -implicit integrated finite difference model. Both of these models give nearly identical results; however, the integrated finite difference model is considerably faster than the finite element model. The relatively low computational efficiency of the finite element scheme is attributed to the large humber of operations required in order to reevaluate the conductivity (stiffness) matrix at each iteration in this highly nonlinear saturated -unsaturated flow problem. The saturated -unsaturated analysis demonstrates that the classical free surface approach provides a distorted picture of the flow pattern in the soil. Contrary to what one would expect on the basis of this theory, only a finite region of the soil in the immediate vicinity of the borehole is saturated, whereas a significant percentage of the flow takes place under unsaturated conditions. As a consequence of disregarding unsaturated flow, the available formulae may underestimate the saturated hydraulic conductivity of fine grained soils by a factor of two, three, or more. Our saturated -unsaturated analysis leads to an improved design of borehole infiltration tests and a more accurate method for interpreting the results of such tests. The analysis also shows how one can predict the steady state rate of infiltration as well as the saturated hydraulic conductivity from data collected during the early transient period of the test.
Description:
Project Completion Report OWRT Project A- 076 -ARIZ The work upon which this publication is based was supported in part by the United States Department of the Interior as authorized under the Water Research Act of 1964, as amended.
Note:
The material in this report is based on a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Arizona by Daniel B. Stephens under the guidance of S. P. Neuman.
Keywords:
Groundwater flow -- Mathematical models.; Groundwater.; Boring.
Series/Report no.:
Technical Reports on Natural Resource Systems, No. 35
Additional Links:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/191055

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorStephens, Daniel Bruceen
dc.contributor.authorNeuman, Shlomo P.en
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-26T23:10:51Z-
dc.date.available2016-05-26T23:10:51Z-
dc.date.issued1980-03-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/610826-
dc.descriptionProject Completion Report OWRT Project A- 076 -ARIZ The work upon which this publication is based was supported in part by the United States Department of the Interior as authorized under the Water Research Act of 1964, as amended.en
dc.description.abstractConstant head borehole infiltration tests are widely used for the in situ evaluation of saturated hydraulic conductivities of unsaturated soils above the water table. The formulae employed in analyzing the results of such tests disregard the fact that some of the infiltrating water may flow under unsaturated conditions. Instead, these formulae are based on various approximations of the classical free surface theory which treats the flow region as if it were fully saturated and enclosed within a distinct envelope, the so- called "free surface." A finite element model capable of solving free surface problems is used to examine the mathematical accuracy of the borehole infiltration formulae. The results show that in the hypothetical case where unsaturated flow does not exist, the approximate formulae are reasonably accurate within a practical range of borehole conditions. To see what happens under conditions closer to those actually encountered in the field, the effect of unsaturated flow on borehole infiltration is investigated by means of two different numerical models: A mixed explicit - implicit finite element model, and a mixed explicit -implicit integrated finite difference model. Both of these models give nearly identical results; however, the integrated finite difference model is considerably faster than the finite element model. The relatively low computational efficiency of the finite element scheme is attributed to the large humber of operations required in order to reevaluate the conductivity (stiffness) matrix at each iteration in this highly nonlinear saturated -unsaturated flow problem. The saturated -unsaturated analysis demonstrates that the classical free surface approach provides a distorted picture of the flow pattern in the soil. Contrary to what one would expect on the basis of this theory, only a finite region of the soil in the immediate vicinity of the borehole is saturated, whereas a significant percentage of the flow takes place under unsaturated conditions. As a consequence of disregarding unsaturated flow, the available formulae may underestimate the saturated hydraulic conductivity of fine grained soils by a factor of two, three, or more. Our saturated -unsaturated analysis leads to an improved design of borehole infiltration tests and a more accurate method for interpreting the results of such tests. The analysis also shows how one can predict the steady state rate of infiltration as well as the saturated hydraulic conductivity from data collected during the early transient period of the test.en
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.publisherDepartment of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)en
dc.relation.ispartofseriesTechnical Reports on Natural Resource Systems, No. 35en
dc.relation.urlhttp://hdl.handle.net/10150/191055en
dc.rightsCopyright © Arizona Board of Regentsen
dc.sourceProvided by the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources.en
dc.subjectGroundwater flow -- Mathematical models.en
dc.subjectGroundwater.en
dc.subjectBoring.en
dc.titleAnalysis of Borehole Infiltration Tests Above the Water Tableen_US
dc.typetexten
dc.typeTechnical Reporten
dc.description.noteThe material in this report is based on a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Arizona by Daniel B. Stephens under the guidance of S. P. Neuman.en
dc.description.collectioninformationThis title from the Hydrology & Water Resources Technical Reports collection is made available by the Department of Hydrology & Atmospheric Sciences and the University Libraries, University of Arizona. If you have questions about titles in this collection, please contact repository@u.library.arizona.edu.en
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