ASTM D4104 - 17

    Standard Test Method (Analytical Procedure) for Determining Transmissivity of Nonleaky Confined Aquifers by Overdamped Well Response to Instantaneous Change in Head (Slug Tests)

    Active Standard ASTM D4104 | Developed by Subcommittee: D18.21

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.08


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 Assumptions of Solution of Cooper et al (1):

    5.1.1 The head change in the control well is instantaneous at time t  = 0.

    5.1.2 Well is of finite diameter and fully penetrates the aquifer.

    5.1.3 Flow in the nonleaky aquifer is radial.

    5.2 Implications of Assumptions: 

    5.2.1 The mathematical equations applied ignore inertial effects and assume the water level returns the static level in an approximate exponential manner. The geometric configuration of the well and aquifer are shown in Fig. 1.

    FIG. 1 Cross Section Through a Well in Which a Slug of Water is Suddenly Injected

     Cross Section Through a Well in Which a Slug of Water
 is Suddenly Injected  Cross Section Through a Well in Which a Slug of Water
 is Suddenly Injected

    5.2.2 Assumptions are applicable to artesian or confined conditions and fully penetrating wells. However, this test method is commonly applied to partially penetrating wells and in unconfined aquifers where it may provide estimates of hydraulic conductivity for the aquifer interval adjacent to the open interval of the well if the horizontal hydraulic conductivity is significantly greater than the vertical hydraulic conductivity.

    5.2.3 As pointed out by Cooper et al (1) the determination of storage coefficient by this test method has questionable reliability because of the similar shape of the curves, whereas, the determination of transmissivity is not as sensitive to choosing the correct curve. However, the curve selected should not imply a storage coefficient unrealistically large or small.

    Note 2: The quality of the result produced by this standard is dependent on the competence of the personnel performing it, and the suitability of the equipment and facilities used. Agencies that meet the criteria of Practice D3740 are generally considered capable of competent and objective testing/sampling/inspection/etc. Users of this standard are cautioned that compliance with Practice D3740 does not in itself assure reliable results. Reliable results depend on many factors; Practice D3740 provides a means of evaluating some of those factors.

    Note 3: Some published literature (5)have discussed the appropriateness of the slug test. These have not been universally accepted and the industry continues to use this test method.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of transmissivity from the measurement of force-free (overdamped) response of a well-aquifer system to a sudden change of water level in a well. Force-free response of water level in a well to a sudden change in water level is characterized by recovery to initial water level in an approximate exponential manner with negligible inertial effects.

    1.2 The analytical procedure in this test method is used in conjunction with the field procedure in Test Method D4044 for collection of test data.

    1.3 Limitations—Slug tests are considered to provide an estimate of transmissivity. Although the assumptions of this test method prescribe a fully penetrating well (a well open through the full thickness of the aquifer), the slug test method is commonly conducted using a partially penetrating well. Such a practice may be acceptable for application under conditions in which the aquifer is stratified and horizontal hydraulic conductivity is much greater than vertical hydraulic conductivity. In such a case the test would be considered to be representative of the average hydraulic conductivity of the portion of the aquifer adjacent to the open interval of the well.

    1.4 All observed and calculated values shall conform to the guidelines for significant digits and rounding established in Practice D6026.

    1.4.1 The procedures used to specify how data are collected/recorded and calculated in the standard are regarded as the industry standard. In addition, they are representative of the significant digits that generally should be retained. The procedures used do not consider material variation, purpose for obtaining the data, special purpose studies, or any considerations for the user’s objectives; and it is common practice to increase or reduce significant digits of reported data to be commensurate with these considerations. It is beyond the scope of these test methods to consider significant digits used in analysis methods for engineering data.

    1.5 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.7 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D653 Terminology Relating to Soil, Rock, and Contained Fluids

    D3740 Practice for Minimum Requirements for Agencies Engaged in Testing and/or Inspection of Soil and Rock as Used in Engineering Design and Construction

    D4043 Guide for Selection of Aquifer Test Method in Determining Hydraulic Properties by Well Techniques

    D4044 Test Method for (Field Procedure) for Instantaneous Change in Head (Slug) Tests for Determining Hydraulic Properties of Aquifers

    D4750 Test Method for Determining Subsurface Liquid Levels in a Borehole or Monitoring Well (Observation Well)

    D5912 Test Method for (Analytical Procedure) Determining Hydraulic Conductivity of an Unconfined Aquifer by Overdamped Well Response to Instantaneous Change in Head (Slug)

    D6026 Practice for Using Significant Digits in Geotechnical Data


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.060.10 (Water of natural resources)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/D4104-17

    Citation Format

    ASTM D4104-17, Standard Test Method (Analytical Procedure) for Determining Transmissivity of Nonleaky Confined Aquifers by Overdamped Well Response to Instantaneous Change in Head (Slug Tests), ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017, www.astm.org

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