Theory of Transient Streaming Potentials Associated with Axial-Symmetric Flow in Unconfined Aquifers

Document Type


Publication Date



We present a semi-analytical solution for the transient streaming potential response of an unconfined aquifer to continuous constant rate pumping. We assume that flow occurs without leakage from the unit below a transverse anisotropic aquifer and neglect flow in the unsaturated zone by treating the water-table as a moving material boundary. In the development of the solution to the streaming potential problem, we impose insulating boundary conditions at land surface and the lower boundary of the lower confining unit. We solve the problem exactly in the double Laplace–Hankel transform space and obtain the inverse transforms numerically. The solution is used to analyse transient streaming potential data collected during dipole hydraulic tests conducted at the Boise Hydrogeophysical Research Site in 2007 June. This analysis yields estimates of aquifer hydraulic parameters. The estimated hydraulic parameters, namely, hydraulic conductivity, transverse hydraulic anisotropy, specific storage and specific yield, compare well to published estimates obtained by inverting drawdown data collected at the field site.