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Evaluating the quality of hydraulic conductivity estimates from piezometer slug tests in peat.

Surridge, B. W. J. and Baird, A. J. and Heathwaite, A. Louise (2005) Evaluating the quality of hydraulic conductivity estimates from piezometer slug tests in peat. Hydrological Processes, 19 (6). pp. 1227-1244.

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Abstract

Although widely used in wetland hydrological studies, hydraulic conductivity (K) estimates from piezometer slug tests are often of questionable validity. Frequently, this is because insufficient attention is paid to the details of the test procedure. Further, in a potentially heterogeneous and anisotropic medium such as peat, the use of slug tests is prone to error. In this paper we address some of the methodological issues surrounding piezometer slug tests in peat. We compare slug test data with laboratory determinations of vertical and horizontal K obtained using a new method. Piezometers were installed at three depths in a floodplain fen peat in Norfolk, UK. Slug tests were initiated by both slug insertion and slug withdrawal, and repeat tests were conducted to examine the robustness of our K estimates. Most of the tests displayed departures from the log-linear model of Hvorslev, the form of departure being consistent with compressible soil behaviour. The results suggest that insertion tests gave similar results to those initiated by withdrawal. Repeat testing showed that withdrawal data, in particular, gave highly reproducible normalized responses that were independent of the initial head. Values for K estimated using the slug tests were in the range 1 × 10−4 to 1·6 × 10−3 cm s−1, which is towards the upper end of the range reported for peats generally. Laboratory tests yielded similar values of K to those obtained from the slug tests. Although the laboratory tests showed that the peat was anisotropic, the K values generated by slug testing proved relatively good estimates of both vertical and horizontal K.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Hydrological Processes
Additional Information: Evaluating the quality of hydraulic conductivity estimates from piezometer slug tests in peat. 1 cites: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?num=100&hl=en&lr=&cites=6844650548981564569
Uncontrolled Keywords: fen peat ; hydraulic conductivity ; piezometer slug test ; modified cube method ; anisotropy ; heterogeneity
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 49726
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 15 Sep 2011 14:09
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 19:31
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/49726

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