You are on page 1of 3

4. SUBSURFACE HYDROLOGY 4.

1 INTRODUCTION Water stored in geologic formations is the primary source of water for personal, municipal, commercial, industrial, and agricultural uses. In these cases, surface water supply sources are nonexistent or too costly to use. In many agricultural communities, irrigation is required, and knowledge of soil moisture and soil-water-plant interactions is necessary to maintain productivity. An understanding of the flow of water into and through the soil system is important to many engineering design problems. The characteristics of soil and their interaction with water is important in the design of building foundations, roadways and other transportation facilities, sewage lagoons, sanitary landfills, septic tanks, dams, bridge piers, and levees. 4.1.1 Ground Water: A Component of the Hydrologic Cycle

or hydraulic gradient Experiments show that the discharge (Q) is related to the area and hydraulic gradient by Q = KiA Where: K hydraulic conductivity Velocity, v = Ki Studies have shown that Darcy's Law is valid for Reynold's numbers less than 1, which covers almost all cases of flow in natural porous media. However, turbulent flow can occur in isolated pores of a porous medium, and Darcy's Law is not valid where such conditions dominate. Reynolds Number, R R = vL/ = vL/ Where: v = flow velocity = mass density of the fluid L = characteristic length = absolute or dynamic viscosity = kinematic viscosity 4.2.1 Hydraulic Conductivity K = Q/(iA) K is a function of both the fluid and the medium through which the fluid is passing. K is a function of the specific weight of the fluid (), the viscosity of the fluid (), and the size of the pores in the medium. Since the pore size cannot be measured directly, it can be replaced by a representative grain diameter, d. K = Cd2/

Hydrologic Cycle Underground perspective Two major sections of soil profile a. Zone of aeration 1. Root zone or soil water zone 2. gravitational zone 3. capillary zone b. Zone of saturation Water table - upper edge of the zone of saturation at atmospheric pressure Aquifer geologic formation carrying water 1. Confined Aquifer (or artesian aquifer) aquifer sandwiched by aquitards/aquicludes with higher piezometric surface than the water surface of the aquifer. 2. Unconfined aquifer permeable underground formation having a surface at atmospheric pressure; that is, it is a formation having the water table as its upper layer. 3. Perched Aquifer covers several square kilometers of area Zone of depression depression of the water table near pumped wells Artesian wells Wells drilled into confined aquifers 4.1.2 Hydrologic Classification Ground water is used to refer to water in the zone of saturation. Suspended water or vadose water are used to refer to water in the zone of aeration; in practice, this water is simply referred to as soil moisture. Gravity water water that can drain under the force of gravity Capillary water water retained by capillary force Hygroscopic moisture water that adheres to the surface of the soil particles as a thin film 4.2 Darcys Law

Specific permeability, k k = Cd2 (unit in ft2 or darcy) Unit: 1 darcy = 1.062 x 10-11 ft2 Darcys Law equation becomes Q = (k/)iA EXAMPLE 4.1 A pump is discharging 70 gal/min from a well in a sandy aquifer. Two observation wells located in a radial line from the pumping well have a 1-ft difference in the water surface elevations; the two observation wells are 50 ft apart. Thus the hydraulic gradient is 2%. At the observation well closer to the pumping well, which is at a distance of 300 ft, the depth from the water table to bedrock is 80 ft. Determine the following: a. Hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer b. Specific permeability EXAMPLE 4.2 Assume that a soil analysis indicates a hydraulic conductivity of 0.0007 ft/sec. Two observation wells located 75 ft apart and in line with the flow have water surface elevations that differ by 2.2 ft. The geologic formation has a depth of 60 ft and a width of 540 ft. 4.2.2 Ground Water Velocities EXAMPLE 4.3 Figure shows a confined aquifer that is 2.4 mi wide and 65 ft thick. The hydraulic conductivity for the sandy soil is 0.035 ft/sec, and the porosity is 0.35. The water surface elevation in two observation wells, which are located 800 ft apart (see Figure), is 7.2 ft.

Determine the following: a. Flow rate b. Darcy velocity c. Seepage velocity d. the travel time from the recharge area to a point of interest 6 mi from the recharge area Apparatus for experiments on Darcy's Law i = slope of hydraulic grade line = hL/L 6.3 HYDRAULICS OF WELLS: STEADY STATE

Case 1 The water level in the test well might remain above the roof level of the aquifer at steady flow condition h0>H0 Q = 2H0(h2 h1)K/[ln(r2/r1)] Case 2 The water level in the test well might fall below the roof level of the aquifer at steady flow condition Q = K(2HH0 H02 h02)/[ln(r2/r1)] EXAMPLE 4.6 Consider the case of a well that penetrates a confined aquifer that has a depth of 20 ft and a hydraulic conductivity of 0.0032 ft/sec. Two observation wells are located at 1000 ft and 2700 ft, with water surface elevations of 2.8 and 4.2 ft, respectively. Determine the discharge. 6.3.4 Radial Flow: Unconfined Aquifer

Illustration of pumping from a well in a confined aquifer Q = Kii (2ri b) = Kio (2rob) As the distance from the center of the well decreases, the hydraulic gradient increases As r decreases, Darcy's Law becomes less valid and the relationship becomes less valid. 6.3.1 Unidirectional Flow: Confined Aquifer EXAMPLE 4.4 Consider the case of an aquifer with a depth of 12 ft and a hydraulic conductivity of 125,000 ft/yr. If measurements at two observation wells 2500 ft apart indicate a drop in the piezometric surface of 8 ft, determine the mean velocity. Determine also the flow rate per foot width.

6.3.2 Unidirectional Flow: Unconfined Aquifer EXAMPLE 4.5 Consider the case where measurements of h0 and h1 of 9 and 6 ft, respectively, are made when the two water bodies are 1500 ft apart. A laboratory test of soil samples indicates that K is 0.0027 ft/sec. Determine the steady-state flow rate.

6.3.3 Radial Flow: Confined Aquifer To develop a solution that is manageable, several assumptions must be made: (1) the well completely penetrates the infinite, confined aquifer; (2) the flow is two-dimensional; (3) the aquifer is homogeneous and isotropic; (4) the flow is laminar; and (5) the flow is horizontal.

4.5 GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT 4.5.1 SAFE YIELD: DEFINITION The rate of water extraction that can be safely harvested from an aquifer is an important characteristic for ground water management. This rate is called the safe yield; specifically, the safe yield is the volume of water that can be extracted from an aquifer during any time period without adversely affecting the supply. Water removed from an aquifer in excess of the safe yield is termed overdraft. 4.5.2 DETERMINATION OF SAFE YIELD Change in the storage (dsldt) of Material/Mass Balance equation can be measured by either (1) the product of the storage coefficient and the change in the piezometric head, or (2) the product of the specific yield and the change in the elevation of the water table. If measurements of the ground water table at observation wells over long periods of time are available, the safe yield can be determined as the volume rate of water that can be extracted such that the water surface elevation at some current time is the same as at some point in time in the distant past. If significant volumes of water were not being extracted from the aquifer during this time period, the record of water table fluctuations represents the long-term record of natural draft and recharge. Where significant volumes of water have been extracted from the aquifer over the period of record, these volumes must be considered in estimating the safe yield. THREE METHODS: A. ZERO FLUCTUATION METHOD The zero fluctuation method requires only annual measurements of the water table elevation, so it is the least data intensive and probably the least accurate. B. AVERAGE DRAFT METHOD The average draft method requires both annual measurements of the water table elevation and a record of annual pumpage from the aquifer. C. WATER BALANCE METHOD Where the pumpage is the most significant output and variations in precipitation are small, the average draft method should be an accurate approximation of the water balance method. 4.5.3 ZERO FLUCTUATION METHOD For the zero fluctuation method the data required to estimate the safe yield include the total draft over a period of record when the water table elevation at the beginning and end of the period is the same. The longer the period of record, the more accurate the estimate of the safe yield should be. In practice, the data will probably consist of annual records of water table elevations and the annual draft. EXAMPLE Estimate the safe yield of the data shown.

4.5.5 THE SIMPLIFIED WATER BALANCE METHOD In many cases, annual precipitation and streamflow are the only data available to represent the inflow and outflow of Material Balance.

Observation wells can be used to estimate the annual changes in the water table elevation. In this case, the other inputs and outputs are assumed to be relatively constant with time and the water balance equation can be reduced to in which the annual change in the water table elevation e represents the change in storage, the annual precipitation is assumed to be the input, and the sum of the surface runoff Q and annual draft Qp is the output. If values of the annual draft are not available, P - Q can be plotted against the change in the water table elevation to estimate the safe yield, with the value of e used as the ordinate. A line can be fitted to the data, and the safe yield can be estimated from the value of (P - Q) corresponding to a value of e of 0. EXAMPLE Estimate the safe yield.

4.5.4 AVERAGE DRAFT METHOD The average draft method uses the same type of data as the zero fluctuation method; however, instead of requiring just the total draft for a period during which the water table elevation is the same at the beginning and end of the period, annual values of the change in the water table elevation and the annual draft are required. To compute the safe yield, the annual drafts should be plotted as the abscissa and the change in the annual water table elevation as the ordinate. A line that best represents the data can be fit by either eye or regression; if regression analysis is used as the fitting method, the annual draft should be used as the criterion (dependent) variable. The safe yield is the value of the annual draft estimated from the line at a point corresponding to a zero elevation change. EXAMPLE Given the data for a 20-yr period. Estimate the safe yield.