Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Duane Hampton

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Kehew

Third Advisor

Dr. Dan Cassidy


Hydraulic conductivity, low-flow sampling, hydrogeology, slug test, hydrology

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Hydrogeologists sample wells to test aquifer water quality and use slug tests to estimate aquifer permeability. Robbins et al. (2009) proposed a more efficient way to obtain the goals of the two tests—the use of low-flow sampling and the use of the resulting flow rate and drawdown data to estimate aquifer hydraulic conductivity (K). The Robbins et al. method calculates K by using the slope of the best fit line from the graph of flow rate vs. drawdown for all low-flow pumping data collected at a well. When the method was applied to low-flow data from four Kalamazoo, MI, it was successful at all four wells. It was most successful at the well in the lowest permeability aquifer. By monitoring water-level recovery after low-flow pumping stopped, researchers also conducted a quasi-slug test to determine K. In three wells, recovery was too fast to use a quasi-slug test to secure a reliable K value. Resulting K values, determined by the Robbins et al. method, quasi-slug test, and slug test, were compared. Low-flow pumping does not cause sufficient drawdown to accurately define K, so the method was least effective in higher permeability aquifers. The method also adds more work to low-flow sampling. In higher permeability aquifers, slug testing was the simplest, most reliable way to determine K. A correlation was found between the resulting K values of all three methods. Results indicate potential to use either the Robbins et al. method or quasi-slug test in lower permeability aquifers.

Included in

Hydrology Commons