A Reinterpretation of Historic Aquifer Tests of Two Hydraulically Fractured Wells by Application of Inverse Analysis, Derivative Analysis, and Diagnostic Plots


Aquifer test methods have greatly improved in recent years with the advent of inverse analysis, derivative analysis, and diagnostic plots. Updated analyses of past aquifer tests allow for improved interpretations of the data to enhance the knowledge and the predictive capabilities of the flow system. This work thoroughly reanalyzes a series of pre- and post-hydraulic fracturing, single-well aquifer tests conducted in two crystalline rock wells in New Hampshire as part of an early 1970’s study. Previous analyses of the data had relied on older manual type-curve methods for predicting the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing. This work applies inverse analysis, derivative analysis, and diagnostic plots to reanalyze the 1970’s aquifer test data. Our results demonstrate that the aquifer tests were affected by changes in flow regimes, dewatering of the aquifer and discrete fractures, and changes due to well development. Increases in transmissivities are related to well development prior to hydraulic fracturing, propagation of a single, vertical fracture hydraulically connecting the two wells after stimulation and expansion of troughs of depression. After hydraulic fracturing, the estimated total yield of the individual wells increased by 2.5 times due to the hydraulic fracturing. However, the wells may be receiving water from the same source, and well interference may affect any significant increase in their combined yield. Our analyses demonstrate the value in applying inverse analysis, derivative analysis, and diagnostic plots over the conventional method of manual type-curve analysis. In addition, our improvement in the aquifer test interpretation of the 1970’s test data has implications for more reliable estimates of sustained well yields.

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Hammond, P. and Field, M. (2014) A Reinterpretation of Historic Aquifer Tests of Two Hydraulically Fractured Wells by Application of Inverse Analysis, Derivative Analysis, and Diagnostic Plots. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 6, 481-506. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2014.65048.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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