Estimating hydraulic conductivity from specific capacity for Hawaii aquifers
Aly I. El-Kadi.
Site-specific relationships between specific capacity and hydraulic parameters (transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity) were investigated for volcanic rocks in Maui, Hawaii, USA. Details about well construction were commonly ignored in previous studies. To improve on such efforts, specific-capacity values were normalized by the open interval of the well. Correcting specific capacity for turbulent head losses using step drawdown tests and including aquifer penetration length improved the correlation between specific capacity and hydraulic conductivity and reduced uncertainty in the prediction of hydraulic parameters. The relationships provide estimates of aquifer parameters with correlation coefficients between 0.81 and 0.99. The relationships for Maui can probably be extended to other Hawaii islands, given the similarity of aquifer formations and a reasonable fit to step-drawdown data from Oahu. Hydraulic conductivity was estimated from 1,257 specific-capacity values in the Hawaii’s well database. Hydraulic-conductivity estimates for dike-free volcanic rocks are consistent on different islands. For all islands, the estimates range from 3 to 8,200 m/d, with a geometric-mean and median value of 272 and 291 m/d, respectively. A geostatistical approach was applied to Maui and Oahu to generate island-wide hydraulic-conductivity maps to facilitate groundwater management efforts.