Acquisition and interpretation of water level data
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Acquisition and Interpretation of Water-Level Data. Travis von Dessonneck. Importance of Water-Level Data. The acquisition and interpretation of ground-water data are essential for environmental site assesment Can be used to determine hydraulic head in formations Used to make 3D flow patterns.

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Acquisition and Interpretation of Water-Level Data

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Acquisition and interpretation of water level data

Acquisition and Interpretation of Water-Level Data

Travis von Dessonneck


Importance of water level data

Importance of Water-Level Data

  • The acquisition and interpretation of ground-water data are essential for environmental site assesment

  • Can be used to determine hydraulic head in formations

  • Used to make 3D flow patterns


Water level and hydraulic head relationships

Water level and Hydraulic-head relationships

  • Hydraulic head varies spatially and temporally

  • Piezometer

    • Monitoring device for measuring water levels

    • Hollow vertical pipe with a screen

  • Elevation head

    • The elevation of the bottom of the well/piezometer


Water level and hydraulic head relationships1

Water level and Hydraulic-head relationships

  • Pressure head

    • The height of the water above the bottom of the well

  • Total hydraulic head

    • Elevation head + Pressure head


Hydraulic media and aquifer systems

Hydraulic Media and aquifer systems

  • Aquifer is not “a water-bearinglayer of geologic material, which will yield water in a usable quantity to a well or spring” in this instance

  • Aquifer is where water lies with respect to the top of a geologic unit


Design features for water level monitoring systems

Design features for water-level monitoring systems

  • Takes into account water-level monitoring and sampling

  • 2 phases

    • Site data collection

    • Monitoring for changes and proper placement of wells

      • Can also be used to determine if monitoring system is not set up correctly

  • Site geology must be known

    • Heterogeneous sites require more monitoring than homogeneous sites


Piezometers or wells

Piezometers or wells

  • Piezometers are generally not used to gather water samples

    • Small diameter pipe

    • Can accommodate pressure transducers

  • Wells are designed for sampling

    • Larger diameter


Approach to system designs

Approach to system designs

  • What to consider

    • Boring and well logs

    • Surficial geology

    • Topographic maps

    • Drainage features

    • Cultural features (well fields, irrigation, pipes)

    • Rainfall

    • Recharge


Approach to system designs1

Approach to system designs

  • Review the data to get

    • Depth and characteristics of high and low K areas

    • Depth to water, intermittent or perched zones

    • Flow direction

    • Vertical hydraulic gradients

    • Possible causes and frequency of fluctuation

    • Existing wells that may be incorporated


Number and placement of wells

Number and placement of wells

  • Dependant on size and complexity of site

  • Minimum to establish direction and rate of flow

  • Larger sites usually have a grid of six to nine wells to get direction

  • Take into account screen depth and length


Water level measurement precision and intervals

Water-level measurement precision and intervals

  • Need to accurately located wells vertically and horizontally

    • Survey/GPS

    • Accuracy to 0.1 and 0.01 ft

  • Need to know what you are looking for

    • Seasonal changes

    • Diurnal changes


Reporting of data

Reporting of data

  • Monitoring installations

    • Geologic sequence

    • Well construction features

    • Depth and elevation of well casing

  • Water-level data

    • Date and time of measurement

    • Method used

    • Other conditions that might affect the well level


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells

  • Wetted chalked tape method

    • Weight attached to bottom of tape

    • Coat bottom 2-3ft of tape with carpenter’s chalk

    • Accurate to 0.01ft (USGS 1980)

    • Disadvantages

      • Stretching of the tape

      • Need to know approximate depth to water


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells1

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells

  • Air-line submergence method

    • Insert a small diameter tube below the water surface

    • Pump the water out the bottom by hand or electric pump

    • Ending psi * 2.31 gives feet

      • Subtract the calculated distance from length of tube


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells2

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells

  • Electrical methods

    • Whistler

      • Open circuit is completed when it comes in contact with the water and beeps at you

      • Wires are at the end of a measuring tape

      • Read the tape to determine depth


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells3

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells

  • Pressure transducer methods

    • Measures the pressure in the well at the sensor

    • Open to the atmosphere by a small capillary tube

    • Usually have a sealed data logger

    • Sensor is lowered a known distance into the water when installed


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells4

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells

  • Float method

    • A float is attached to the end of a steel tape

    • Read the depth off of the steel tape


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells5

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells

  • Sonic or audible methods

    • The classic “drop the pebble in the well approach” only with a tape attached to the pebble

    • Drop a battery powered probe down the beeps when it is in the water (whistler)


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells6

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells

  • Ultrasonic/radar/laser methods

    • A sonar type device

    • Calculates the reflection time

    • Can get depth to water and total depth of the well


Manual measurements in flowing wells

Manual measurements in flowing wells

  • Manometers and pressure gauges

    • Well is sealed and a pressure gauge is installed in the top

    • Mercury can be accurate to 0.005ft

    • Pressure gauges can be accurate to 0.2 ft


Methods of continuous measurement

Methods of Continuous measurement

  • Mechanical: float recorder systems

    • A float attached to a seismometer type drum

  • Electromechanical: Iterative Conductance Probes (dippers)

    • Probe is lowered to the water surface by a stepping motor

    • Sensor like on a whistler tells the motor to stop

    • Motor reverses and repeats at set intervals

  • Data loggers


Analysis interpretation and presentation of water level data

Analysis, Interpretation, and Presentation of Water-level data

  • Water-level can be effected by recharge and discharge conditions

    • Water flows down during recharge and up during discharge


Approach to interpreting water level data

Approach to Interpreting Water-level data

  • Conduct a thorough site analysis

  • Review monitoring wells features

  • Establish groundwater flow direction and magnitude

    • Monitor for several days to see long term fluctuations


Transient effects

Transient Effects

  • Water level can change due to many things

    • Seasonal precipitation

    • Irrigation

    • Well pumping

    • River stage

    • Tidal fluctuations

  • These can reverse flow direction


Contouring water level elevation data

Contouring water level elevation data

  • Made like a topo map, only of the water table and not the surface elevation

  • May require cross sections in areas with high vertical flow


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells7

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells8

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells9

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells10

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells


Manual measurements in nonflowing wells11

Manual measurements in nonflowing wells


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