A tensor approach to the estimation of hydraulic conductivities in Table Mountain Group aquifers of South Africa

14 Nov 2013

Based on the field measurements of the physical properties of fractured rocks, the anisotropic properties of hydraulic conductivity (HC) of the fractured rock aquifer can be assessed and presented using a tensor approach called hydraulic conductivity tensor. Three types of HC values, namely point value, axial value and flow direction one, are derived for their possible applications. The HC values computed from the data measured on the weathered or disturbed zones of rock outcrops tend to give the upper limit values. To simulate realistic variations of the hydraulic property in a fractured rock aquifer, two correction coefficients, i.e. the fracture roughness and combined stress conditions, are adapted to calibrate the tensor model application. The application results in the Table Mountain Group (TMG) aquifers show that the relationship between the HC value and fracture burial depths follows an exponential form with the power hyperbola.