American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Numerical Modeling of Periodic Pumping Tests in Wells Penetrating a Heterogeneous Aquifer

Peter A. Fokker, Joerg Renner and Francesca Verga

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2013.1.13

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 9, Issue 1

Pages 1-13


This study investigated how to utilize multiple frequency components of pressure data from periodic pulse tests to estimate the intra-well permeability and compressibility distribution and also the presence of heterogeneities in a real field case. Periodic well testing is a technique in which injection or production pulses of a fluid are applied to a well in a periodic fashion. One of its main advantages is that ongoing operations do not have to be interrupted during the test as the superposed harmonic components can be identified using Fourier analysis. Further, modeling calculations are much faster than calculations in the time domain as no time-stepping is required and only the frequencies observed in the test need to be evaluated. We applied an earlier developed numerical code in the frequency domain to evaluate periodic-test results in a shallow aquifer and obtained a good match between data and calculations. The interpreted formation heterogeneity is in line with the local geology. Joints of various orientations constitute the main hydraulic conduits of the tested subsurface but they do not directly connect the wells. Thus communication between the wells has to be established through low-permeability features. The interwell periodic testing has corroborated the geological understanding of the aquifer and helped understanding the fluid flow pattern.


© 2013 Peter A. Fokker, Joerg Renner and Francesca Verga. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.