Abstract

In Britain, groundwater abstraction from the confined region of an aquifer is less common than abstraction from the unconfined region. This paper describes how, during a study of abstraction from the confined region of the Woburn Sands aquifer in SE England, techniques were developed for examining the response of confined aquifers to pumping. Issues considered include the selection of both the extent of the aquifer system to be studied and the time period to be considered. Observation well records are examined to hypothesize how groundwater head hydrographs depend on abstraction and recharge. Another topic is the estimation of recharge when there is spatial variability in precipitation and when substantial areas of the aquifer are beneath low-permeability till. An approach is devised for river–aquifer interaction when the actual river channel is small compared with extensive river valley deposits. Conceptual and computational models are developed and evaluated against observation well hydrographs and single water-level readings at a number of locations. The computational model is used to ascertain how the flux from the unconfined to the confined region changes with variations in groundwater abstractions.

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