A Forced Gradient Tracer Experiment in a Coastal Sandy Aquifer, Georgetown Site, South Carolina

Josep Mas‐Pla, T. ‐C Jim Yeh, John F. McCarthy, T. M. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


A two‐well tracer experiment was conducted in a coastal, sandy aquifer in South Carolina to investigate tracer migration in ground‐water systems. Chloride tracer was injected into the aquifer under a steady flow condition created by continuous injection and withdrawal of ground water at an injection and a withdrawal well dipole separated by a distance of 5 meters. Breakthrough data were collected at several depths from two multilevel sampling wells, 1.5 meters apart, between the injection well and the withdrawal well. A one‐dimensional advection‐dispersion model that considers the nonuniform velocity field of the two‐well experiment was employed to estimate the hydrologic properties of the aquifer. The values of the porosity and dispersivity were estimated by fitting the model to the observed breakthrough data collected at three depths at one sampling well (Well A). These values were then used to predict the breakthroughs at the same depths in the other sampling well (Well B). A two‐dimensional flow and transport model was also employed to simulate the tracer migration. Results of both one‐ and two‐dimensional simulations show that these models fail to predict the tracer breakthrough at Well B using parameter values obtained from Well A. The failure of the model to predict breakthroughs at Well B suggests that a three‐dimensional characterization of aquifer heterogeneities and a three‐dimensional modeling effort may be needed in order to capture the complex flow pattern in the aquifer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-964
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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