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Some considerations regarding

the radius or influence


or a pumping well Walter DRAGONI (1)
Considrations sur le rayon d'influence d'un puits de pompage
Hydrogologie, n 3, 1998, pp. 21-25, 3 fig., 2 tabl.
Key-words: Methodology, Aquifer drawdown, Water wells, Radius of influence
Mots-cls : Mthodologie, Rabattement nappe, Puits eau, Rayon d'influence
Si on pose dans (1)
Considrons l'quarion de Theis
complte:
Tt
2.24584- =l
r
2
S
Un puits en pompage peut avoir un
rappor! Q/T suprieur 25 - 30 mrres ..
la dpression s(Cj) peut alors ne pas etre
ngligeable et dpasser le mtre (fig. 1).
Dans de lwmbreux cas, il est plus
comnwde de dfinir le rayon d'influence
camme la disrance du puirs laquelle le
rabattemenr est gal une valeur d - o d
est une trs petite dpression choisie au
cas par cas (normalement, d pourrait erre
de quelques centimrres). Appelons R(d)
ce nouveau rayon d'influence. R(d) (rayon
d'influence selon le rabattement) peut
erre calcul de diffrentes faons ..
l'article en prsenre trois.
La troisime mthode, qui donne une
approximation d'environ 0,2 %, est
d'utiliser les formules reportes dans le
tableau 2, qui donnent R(dJ en fonction de
R(cj) et du rapport QIT. Les formules du
tableau (2) ont t obtenues par le
meilleur ajusrement entre In(Q/T) et le
rapport R(dIR(cj) (fig. 2). La figure 3
montre combien le rayon d'influence peut
varier selon la dfinition utilise et la
valeur du rapport QIT.
La deuxime mthode pour calculer
R(d) utilise ce que ['on appelle la loi des
temps (voir quation (IO) dans le texte),
pour laquelle il est ncessaire d'avoir un
pizomtre.
La premirefaon de calculer R(d) est
par le biais de l'quation de Theis (voir
quations (6) et (7) dans le texte) .. il est
alors ncessaire d'avoir disposition un
tableau avec les valeurs de la fonction
W(u) en fonction de u. Pour celte
quation, on dispose galement du code
de calcul Radius .
(5)
(2)
(5a)
2.24584Tt
S
s = ~ w
41tI' (u)
Q
5(.) =0.03912-
CJ T
L'quation (1) n'est valable que
lorsque u < 0.02, mais quand l'quation
(la) est vrifie, on dmontre que l'on a
roujours u = 0.561459 et par consquenr
l'usage de l'quation (2) peut mener
des erreurs non ngligeables.
on obtient le rayon d'influence :
Quand u = 0.561459, on a W
ru
) =
0.491535 ; si on englobe toutes les
constantes prsentes dans (5) en une
constante unique, la distance R(cj) le
rabattement est fourni par l'quation
suivanre:
Dans cet article, 011 examine la
signification du rayon d'influence R(cj)
dans le cas d'un puits pomp dbit
constant, le cours des rabanements dans
le temps et do.ns l'espace tant dcrit par
l'quarion de Theis. On suppose
gnralemenr que le rayon d'influence
(c'esr--dire la distance du puits laquelle
le rabattemenr provoqu par le pompage
est nul ou ngligeable) peut erre calcul au
moyen de l'quation de Cooper-Jacob :
s =---.2...-
in
2.24584Tt (I)
4nT r
2
S
The case of a well pumping at a
constant rate without recharge is
examined. lt is shown that the drawdown
s(cj) at the radius of injluence computed
according to the Cooper - Jacob formula
is always given by the formula s(cj) =
0.03912 Q/T, where Q and T are the
pumpedflow and rhe rransmissivity ofrhe
aquifer. A radius of influence is defined
according to the drawdown that can be
detected with the usual devices used in
the field. Some methods and some simple
expressions to compute such a radius are
given.
Rsum tendu
Abstract
Pour ce qui suir, on considrera
comme valables les symboles reports
dans le tableau l, tandis que l'on utilisera
pour les tableaux, quations et figures la
meme numration que do.ns le tate.
(1) Dipartimento Scienze Terra, Universit di Perugia - Piazza Universit 1 - 06100 - Perugia, ltalia.
HYDROGOLOGIE, N3, 1998 21

RADIUS OF INFLUENCE OF A PUMPING WELL
Let us eonsider tbe Theis equation
Il can be checked from any table
giving tbe value oftbe Theis funclion lhat
if u = 0.561459, then W(u) = 0.491535. In
this condition equation (5) becomes
Putting the Ieft member of equation
(4a) in equation (3), one finds that when
equation (3) is true, then u=0.561459. As
the Cooper - Jacob equation is an
approximation acceptable only if u is
small (let us say < 0.02), it appears tbat,
in generaI, equation (2) is not an
acceptable approximation.
d = drawdown used lo define the radius of influence (m)
In = naturallogarithm
Q = pumped flow (m
3
/day)
r = any dislance from the well (m)
R(cj) = radius of influence according lo the Cooper - Jacob equalion (m)
R(d) = radius of infiuence according lo the drawdown criteria (m)
s =drawdown in generai (m)
s(cj) = drawdown at the distance R(cj) from the well (m)
S = storage coefficient (dimensionless)
l = lime (days)
T = transmissivity (m
2
/day)
2
u = ~ (dummy variable in the Theis equation, dimensionless)
4Tt
W(u) = well function of the Theis equation (dimensionless)
Table \.- Symbols used in the lexl.
Tabl. 1.- Symboles utiliss dans le texte.
Q
s=--w
4n'f (u)
(5)
Formula (2) relies on the fact tbat
when and where s =Oin equation (1) tbe
foliowing must be true
(5a)
Q
S(cj) =O . 0 3 9 1 2 ~
This last formula gives the true
drawdown at tbe R(cj) distanee eomputed
according to equation (2); as expected, it
shows that the actual drawdown at R(cj) is
proportional to tbe ratio Qff. It is also
noteworthy to consider tbal, according to
formula (5a), as long as the drawdown is
described by the Theis equation, s(cj) does
noI depend on S, l and R(cj)'
To get an idea about the greatest
order of magnitude of s(cj)' let us
consider that in most cases, for a well of
some importance, the value of Q/T is
roughly between 1 m and 30 m, in rare
cases being larger than 60 m or smaller
than l m. This range is taken from my
own personal experience and from a
survey of published data about pumping
wells (cf., for example, WaJton, 1970;
Civita, 1975; Castany, 1982; Raghunath,
1982; Custodio and Llamas, 1983;
Celico, 1986; Kruseman and de Ridder,
1990; Vukovic and Soro, 1992; Gichaba
et al., 1996). Figure l is a plot of
formula (1): it is clear that, in tbe noI
extreme and not-so-uneommon case of a
ratio Qff larger than 20 or 25 ID, s(cj) can
be around l m or more: this means that
equation (2) can easily give
unsatisfaclory results, especially if one
is dealing with problems regarding
interference, superposition and
boundaries.
(1)
(3)
(2)
(4)
(4a)
2.24584Tt
S
TI
4u = r
2
S
Tt
2.24584-
2
- = l
r S
Q 2.24584Tt
S=--in----
4nT r
2
S
According to equation (1), at any
lime t, tbe radius of influence R(cj) is
given by
In the Theis equation tbe dummy
variable u is given by
r
2
S
u=-
4Tl
which can also be written as
Equation (2) implies that R(cj) is
independent of the flow pumped out from
tbe weI!. In the case of pumping tests
carried out close to a boundary, formula
(2) is sometimes used lO estimate the
distanee between the imaginary well and
the point where the drawdown is
measured (de Marsily, 1986).
The radius of influence
according to the Cooper-
Jacob equation
This note lakes into consideration a
well pumping in a confined aquifer
without recharge, in unsteady state, in
sueh conditions that tbe Theis equation is
valido However, it seems that similar
considerations could be applied to
uneonfined aquifers or to more eomplex
situations. Table l gives the meaning of
the symbols used in tbe text.
Due lO the use of groundwaler
modeIs, the concept of radius of int1uence
of a well is of Iimited use today.
However, as il is stili of some interest
from a practical point of view to have a
readiIy available idea about the size of
the zone which is perturbed by a pumping
well, the following considerations couId
stili have some use.
Introduction
The Theis equation implies tbat the
radius of int1uence of a well pumped at a
constanI radius extends to the infinite.
Sinee tbis situation has little significance
in tbe real world, where a very small
drawdown (e.g. a few millimetres or a
few centimetres) can be neglected, it is
usually aeeepted that a realistic
estimation of tbe radius of influence can
be obtained from tbe Cooper - Jacob
equation (Cooper and Jacob, 1946)
22 HYDROGOLOGIE, N 3, 1998

RADIUS OF INFLUENCE OF A PUMPING WELL
5
------1
I
i
drawdown d at tbe distance R(d) from tbe
wel!.
At some time (t,) in tbe piezometer
we shall have tbc drawdown (d) tbat
defines tbe radius of influence R(d)' At t],
the drawdown is described by Theis
equation
- -_ --- _.- _ _---
-_....
(8)
Fig. 1.- Plot of the ratio Qff vs. slei)' For values of Qff larger than 20 mthe drawdown at tbe radius of
influence according to tbe Cooper - Jacob equation can be around one metre or more.
Fig. 1.- Relation entre Qff el s(cjJ- Pour les valeurs de Qff suprieures 20 m, le raballemeni une
disrance gale au rayon d'influence calcul par l'quation de Cooper Jacob peul elre d'un mtre ou
plus.
I
'T-j
20 40 60
Qff (m)
80 100 120
where W(u\) is tbe well function for
2
r, S
u) =-- (8a)
4Tt]
If we want to know R(d) at tbe time tz,
which is larger tban t" we can consider
tbat at tbe unknown distance R(d) the
drawdown is stili given by tbe Theis
equation, i.e.
d = 0.01 R(d) = R(cj) (-O.OI40X
2
+ 0.3673X + 1.5522) (lOa)
d = 0.02 R(d) =R(cj) (-O.0161X
2
+ 0.3957X + 1.2826) (lOb)
d = 0.03 R(d) =R(cj) (-0.0174X
2
+ 0.4138X + 1.1152) (lOc)
d = 0.04 R(d) =R(cj) (-0.0182X
2
+ 0.4270X + 0.9923) (lOd)
d =0.05 R(d) =R(cj) (-O.0188X
2
+ 0.4373X + 0.8945) (10e)
(9)
(9b)
(lO)
where W(uz) is tbe well function for
Comparing formulas (8) and (9) shows
that W(u\) = W(uz); tbis implies that
u
j
= so that by combining (8a) and (9b)
the following can easily be obtained
Since rl' t] and d can be measured,
and tz depends on the choice of the
operator (as well as d), equation (8)
allows immediate computation of R(d)'
Anotber easy metbod (only a hand-
held calculator is necessary) for
estimating R(d) is to apply the appropriate
formula from among those listed in
Table 2.
The formulas in Table 2 have bcen
obtained by polynomial regression
between In(Qrr) and R(d)lR(cj)' and
witbin tbe ranges indicated they give an
error no greater then 0.2% of tbe "true
value", where tbe "true value" is tbe one
tbat can be obtained computing u from
W(u) by some numerical metbod and
(7)
In the field, with a piezometer,
another metbod for computing R(d) is by
using tbe so calied "law of times".
Let us define tbe following symbols:
From equation (6) it is obvious that
R(d) depends also on Q. The procedure
bere outlined is performed by tbe code
"Radius", based on tbe Bolzano bisection
metbod (Dragoni, 1985; tbis code can be
freely downloaded at the web site
indicated at tbe end of the present paper).
r [ = distance between tbe well and tbe
piezometer;
tz = time when we want to know R(d)' i.e.
time when tbe pumping generates a
t] =time, from tbe beginning of pumping,
corresponding to a drawdown d in tbe
piezometer.
(6)
4nTd
W(u) =--
Q
The radius of influence
according to the drawdown
criteria
Table 2. Approximate formulas for computing for 1 ":;;Qrr ,.:;; 35 m. In tbe table, X=ln(Qrr).
TabL 2.- Formules donnant R(dJ pour l SQIl' 535 m avec X=ln(Q:T).
From a practical point of view, we can
define tbe "radius of influence" as tbe
distance beyond which tbe drawdown is
so small tbat it cannot be detected; let us
define such a small drawdown as d and
the corresponding radius as R(d)' When T,
S, and Q are known, R(d) can be
computed in various ways. For instance,
it is possible to compute W(u) directly
from tbe Theis equation
When W(u) is known, it is possible to
obtain the corresponding value of u by
means of tables or witb some computer
program, easy to implement even on a
hand-held calculator (cf., for instance,
Dragoni, 1985, 1986). When u is known
we have
HYDROGOLOGIE, N3,1998
23

RADIUS OF INFLUENCE OF A PUMPING WELL
1000
Fig. 3.- Evolution in time of the radius of inf1uence in different
conditions and according to different definitions. The simulations have
been carried out supposing an ideai aquifer having T =100 m
2
/day, S =
0.001 and d = 0.01 m. A) R(O.OI) for Q = 3500 m
3
/day, Q/T = 35;
B) R(o.OI) for Q = 100 m
3
/day, Q/T = l; Cl R
IO
.
Ol
) for Q = lO ml/day,
Q/T = 0.1; D) R(ej)' independent from the pumping rate. lt is interesting
lO note that the drawdown s(ej) at ~ e j ) depends on the ralio Q/T: thus s(ej)
= 1.37 m for Q/T = 35, s(ej) = 0.391 m for Q/T = lO m, and s(ej) =
0.0039 m for Q/T= 0.1 m (cf. equalion (5a)).
Fig. 2.- Relationship between the ratio Q/T and the ratio R(d/R(ej)'
I) "exact" values of R(d/R(ej): 2) value obtained by formulas in Table 2.
Fig. 2.- Relation entre QfT et R(dIR(e})'
1) Valeurs "exactes" de RldIR(e}); 2) Valeurs donnes par lesformules
du tableau 2.
12
A
D
B
lO 6
Time (day,)
!/ ~ C
S O O ~
A
4S00
4000
B
C
3S00
3000
g
2500
o:
2000
IS00
35 40 30 20 25
QIT (ml
15 lO
2.80
2.ffJ
2.40
221 -
2.00
~
].g)
I.ffJ
1.40
121
1.00
o.m
O
Fig. 3.- Variation au cours du temps du rayon d'injluence sous dif.frentes conditions et selon dif.fremes dfinitions. !..es simulations ont t rales en
supposam un aquifre idal o T = 100 m
2
/j, S = 0,001 et d = 0,01 m. A) R(O.Ol) pour Q = 3500 m
3
/j, Q/T = 35; B) R(O.Ol) pour Q = 100 m
3
/j, QIT = 1; C)
R(O.Ol) pour Q = lO m
3
/j, Q/T = O, l; D) R(e})o indpendant du dbit pomp. 11 faut noter que le rabattement s(e}) R(e}) dpend de Q/T. Ainsi s(e)) = 1,37 m
pour QfT = 35, s(e}) = 0,391 m pour QIT = lO m et s(e}) = 0,0039 m pour Q/T = 0,1 m (cf quation (5a)).
applying equation (7). Here the above-
mentioned code "Radius" was used;
comparison between the values given by
the code and the results that are obtained
using the tabu1ated values of W(u) and u,
has shown that the difference is less than
0.01 % (cf., for example, the tab1e m
Custodio and Llamas, 1983, p. 945).
It is interesting to note that the
formulas in Tab1e 2 app1y for any time
and any value of T and S, as long as R(cj)
has been computed in the proper way, i.e.
by means of equation (2). This is possib1e
because the ratio of equations (7) and (2)
lS
In formula (11), the value of u(d)
depends on the value of W(u) obtained
from equation (6), which does not depend
on t, T and S, but only on d and the ratio
Qrr.
Figure 2 shows a plot of the ratio Qrr
against the ratio R(d)lR(cj)' and the best fit
according to the equations in Table 2;
Figure 3 gives an example of the
evolution in time of R(cj) and R(d)'
Figures 2 and 3 show that:
a - for small values of d, and large va1ues
of the ratio Qrr, R(d) can be a1most
three times larger than R(cj);
b - it may happen that R(cj) > R(d):
according to equation (5a) this occurs
when the drawdown at R(cj) is greater
than d, i.e. when d < O.039IQrr.
References
Castany G. (1982) - Principes et mthodes de l'hydrogologie. Dunod Universit, pp. 238.
Celico P. (1986) - Prospezioni idrogeologiche. VoI. I, Liguori, pp. 735.
Civita M. (1975) - Idrogeologia. In "Geologia tecnica per ingegneri e geologi", Ippolito E, Nicotera P., Lucini, Civita M., de Riso R., ISEDI - Milano, pp. 443.
Cooper H.H., Jacob c.E. (1946) - A generalized graphical method for evaluating formation constants and summarising well-field history. Trans. Am. Geoph.
Union, 27, 526-534.
Custodio E., Llamas M.R. (1983) - Hidrologia subterranea. v.l. I, Ediciones Omega, pp. 1157.
de Marsily G. (1986) - Quantitalive Hydrogeology - Groundwater Hydrology for Engineers. Academic Press, pp. 440.
Publication n. 1879 of CNR-GNDCI, U.O. 4.8. The research was partially supported by MURST 60% funding. Most of the computations in this paper were
carried out by using the code "Radius", which can be freely downloaded at the web site ..http://www.gndci.pg.cnr.itf.
24 HYDROGOLOGIE, N" 3, 1998

RADIUS OF INFLUENCE OF A PUMPING WELL
Dragoni W. (1985) - Contributo al calcolo dei parametri idrogeologici tramite prove di pompaggio. - Geologia Applicata e Idrogeologia, XX (I), 125-136.
Dragoni W. (1986) - Sul calcolo della trasmissivit e del coefficiente d'immagazzinamento dalla risalita del cono di depressione. Mem. Soc. Geol. /t., 35,
987-990.
Gichaba C.M., Anyumba J., Peloso G.F. (1996) - Groundwater potential in Kidiani area, Kwale district, Kenya. Acque sotterranee, 2, 13-26.
Kruseman G.P., de Ridder N.A. (1980) - Analysis and Evaluation of Pumping Test Data. ILRl, Wageningen, pub. no. 47, pp. 377.
Raghunath H.M. (1982) - Ground Water. Wiley Eastem Limited. pp. 456.
Vukovic M., Soro A. (1992) - Hydraulics of Water Wells, Theory and Application. Water Resources Publications, pp. 353.
Walton w.c. (1970) - Groundwater Resources Evaluation. McGraw-Hill Kogalrusha, pp. 664.
HYDROGOLOGIE, N3,1998
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