Air-slug low-pressure straddle-packer system to facilitate characterization of fractured bedrock
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Straddle-packer tests are used for determining aquifer properties in fractured rock, but packer tests are often avoided because they can be expensive. We have developed a simple, inexpensive, lightweight air-slug straddle packer system that can measure transmissivity as well as head variations along boreholes. The air-slug packer system was used at a site in Clemson, South Carolina to evaluate the transmissivity and head distributions in a borehole. The results show that transmissivity in the aquifer range from 10-7 to 10-4m2/s. Transmissivity distributions show three permeable intervals (T≈10-4m2/s) at depths of 24, 34, and 50m separated by relatively low permeability material (T ≈ 10-7 m/s). Upward vertical head gradients of 0.013 and 0.0016 were measured in the well. Similar results were obtained with standard, high-pressure packers.