The Feasibility of Recharge Rate Determinations Using the Steady-State Centrifuge Method
- John R. Nimmo ,
- David A. Stonestrom and
- Katherine C. Akstin
The establishment of steady unsaturated flow in a centrifuge permits accurate measurement of small values of hydraulic conductivity (K). This method can provide a recharge determination if it is applied to an unsaturated core sample from a depth at which gravity alone drives the flow. A K value determined at the in situ water content indicates the long-term average recharge rate at a point. Tests of this approach have been made at two sites. Unsaturated K values were measured easily for sandy core samples from a site in the San Joaquin Valley of California. The results indicate that a better knowledge of the matric pressure profiles is required before a recharge rate can be determined. Fine-textured cores from a site in southeastern Washington required new developments of apparatus and procedures, especially for making centrifuge measurements with minimal compaction of the samples. Measured K values led to preliminary recharge rate determinations that are reasonable considering the known hydrology and topography of the site.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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