The Groundwater Project

History and Hydraulics of Flowing Wells

History and Hydraulics of Flowing Wells
Publication year: 2024
Number of pages: 72
Historia por

Xiaowei Jiang
John Cherry

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Because flowing wells are spectacular visual evidence of groundwater occurrence, they became the impetus for both qualitative and quantitative groundwater science. The pursuit of answers to fundamental questions generated by flowing wells in confined aquifers bounded by aquitards moved the science forward for more than a century until pumping became the main form of groundwater development. 

Since the turn of the 20th century, flowing wells in unconfined aquifers were an impetus for the paradigm shift from aquitard-bound flow to cross-formational flow driven by topography. In this book, the histories of drilling flowing wells in France, the US, Canada, and China—which led to important findings on hydraulics of flowing wells—are summarized. The occurrence of flowing wells in confined aquifers, unconfined aquifers and semi-confined aquifers are demonstrated by showing the corresponding forms of topography-driven groundwater flow from recharge to discharge areas in different aquifers. 

This book introduces classic models of steady-state and transient discharge rates from flowing wells without considering basinal groundwater flow fields as proposed by Dupuit (1863), Jacob and Lohman (1952), and Hantush (1959). Recent models of transient and steady-state discharge rates of flowing wells that consider basinal groundwater flow fields—which led to a clear understanding of sources of water derived in flowing wells—are also introduced. By providing a comprehensive description of flowing wells, this book is useful not only to understanding hydraulics of flowing wells, but also to understanding the history of groundwater science.