A line source tracer test - a better method for assessing high groundwater velocity

E. Magal, N. Weisbrod, A. Yakirevich, D. Kurtzman, Y. Yechieli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A line source injection is suggested as an effective method for assessing groundwater velocities and flow directions in subsurface characterized by high water fluxes. Modifying the common techniques of injecting a tracer into a well was necessary after frequently-used methods of natural and forced gradient tracer tests ended with no reliable information on the local groundwater flow. In a field experiment, tracers were injected into 8-m long line injection system constructed below the water table almost perpendicular to the assumed flow direction. The injection system was divided to four separate segments (each 2 m long) enabling the injection of four different tracers along the line source. An array of five boreholes located in an area of 10x10 m downstream was used for monitoring the tracers' transport. Two dye tracers (Uranine and Na Naphthionate) were injected in a long pulse of several hours into two of the injection pipe segments and two tracers (Rhenium oxide and Gd-DTPA) were instantaneously injected to the other two segments. The tracers were detected 0.7 to 2.3 hours after injection in four of the five observation wells, located 2.3 to 10 m from the injection system, respectively. Groundwater velocities were calculated directly from the tracers' arrival times and by fitting the observed breakthrough curves to simulations with one and two dimensions analytical solutions for conservative tracer transport. The groundwater velocity was determined to be ~100 m/d. The longitudinal dispersivity value, generated from fitting the tracer breakthrough curves, was in a range of 0.2-3m. The groundwater flow direction was derived based on the arrival of the tracers and was found to be consistent with the apparent direction of the hydraulic gradient. The hydraulic conductivity derived from the groundwater velocity was ~1200 m/d, which is in the upper range of gravel sediment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2009
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2009
EventAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2009 -
Duration: 14 Dec 200918 Dec 2009


ConferenceAmerican Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2009


  • 1828 HYDROLOGY / Groundwater hydraulics
  • 1832 HYDROLOGY / Groundwater transport


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