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Annotated List of Classic Pre-1980 USGS Groundwater Papers on Quantitative Groundwater-Flow Analysis

Papers, with annotation, ordered by date of publication

Slichter, C.S., 1899, Theoretical investigations of the motion of ground waters: U.S. Geological Survey 19th Annual Report, Part II, p. 295-384.

This is an important paper because Slichter used potential theory to quantitatively describe the steady-state flow field in response to a discharging well. It may be the first quantitative analysis of groundwater in the USGS.

Meinzer, O.E., 1928, Compressibility and elasticity of artesian aquifers [Link exits the USGS web site]: Economic Geology, p. 263-291.

This paper is an early attempt to explain and quantify the storativity of confined aquifers.

Theis, C.V., 1935, The relation between lowering of the piezometric surface and rate and duration of discharge of a well using groundwater storage: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v. 16, p. 519-524. (Available as USGS Ground Water Branch Ground Water Notes No. 5 [440 KB PDF].)

This paper is the important breakthrough that provided a solution for the nonsteady flow of groundwater. This paper enabled hydrologists for the first time to predict future changes in groundwater levels resulting from pumping or recharging of wells.

Theis, C.V., 1940, The source of water derived from wells: Civil Engineering, v. 10, no. 5, p. 277-280. (Available as released in USGS Ground Water Branch Ground Water Notes No. 34 [1.4MB PDF].)

This paper clearly discusses the fundamental mass balance principal that water discharged from an aquifer must be balanced by increased recharge, decreased discharge, or a change in water in storage. These facts are sometimes referred to as "Theis Concepts." These concepts are fundamental to understanding the source of water to wells and that groundwater and surface water are inextricably linked together in the hydrologic cycle.

Jacob, C.E., 1940, On the flow of water in an elastic artesian aquifer: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v. 21, p. 574-586.

Theis (1935) (also included in this list of papers) developed the "non-equilibrium equation" based on an analogy to heat flow, which for the first time enabled hydrologists to analyze the time-dependent response of a groundwater system to a pumping well. Jacob (1940) in this paper derived the "non-equilibrium equation" from basic hydrologic concepts, which included a rigorous definition of specific storage.

Jacob, C. E., 1950, Flow of ground water, chapter 5, in Engineering Hydraulics: edited by H. Rouse, John Wiley, p. 321-386.

This text book chapter presents a thorough summary of the equations of groundwater flow at that time.

Ferris, J.G., Knowles, D.B., Brown, R.H., and Stallman, R.W., 1962, Theory of aquifer tests: U. S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1536-E, 174 p.

This report brought together many of the analytical methods of analysis for groundwater flow at the time. A particular focus of the report was to describe the underlying assumptions necessary for mathematical analysis of the flow systems, and the way in which the assumptions limited the validity of the specific analytical methods. It is still useful today as an overview of aquifer tests.

Brown, R.H., 1963, The cone of depression and the area of diversion around a discharging well in an infinite strip aquifer subject to uniform recharge: in Shortcuts and special problems in aquifer tests, Ray Bentall (compiler): U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1545-C, p. C69-C85.

Before the era of well-head protection studies, Brown (1963) clearly showed the difference between the area contributing recharge to a well and the area of drawdown around a well. Because this study predated numerical groundwater flow models, Brown used superposition of analytical solutions to illustrate this very key aspect of flow to a well.

Stallman, R.W., 1963, Electric analog of three-dimensional flow to wells and its application to unconfined aquifers: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1536-H, p. 205-242.

This paper is important because it explains electric analog simulation and it develops a conceptual understanding of 2-dimensional unconfined radial flow.

Stallman, R. W., 1964, Multiphase fluids in porous media - a review of theories pertinent to hydrologic studies: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 411-E, p. E1-E51.

This report summarized the status of the theory of occurrence of multiphase fluids in physically and chemically stable porous media, and develops the laws of flow of the vapor and liquid phases. Stallman received the O.E. Meinzer Award from the Geological Society of America in 1967 for authoring this report.

Cooper, H.H., Kohout, F.A., Henry, H.R., and Glover, R.E., 1964, Sea water in coastal aquifers: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1613-C, 84 p.

This compendium of papers summarized the status of knowledge of sea water in coastal aquifers. The idea of a circulation due to dispersion constituted the first section of the report (Cooper, 1964, p. C1-C12). The second section (Kohout, 1964, p. C12-C32) gave the results of the field investigation of this phenomenon. The third (Glover, 1964, p. C32-C35) and fourth (Henry, 1964, p. C35-C70) sections presented mathematical solutions for the position of the sharp interface that would occur in the absence of diffusion, and the fifth analyzed the effects of dispersion in what is now known as the "Henry Problem" (Henry, 1964, p. C70-C85).

Cooper, H.H., 1966, The equation of groundwater flow in fixed and deforming coordinates [Link exits the USGS web site]: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 71, no. 20, p. 4785-4790.

At this point in time there was some concern that the established groundwater flow equation was not valid because its derivation assumed both a control volume fixed in space and one that could deform to provide water from storage. Cooper derived the established groundwater flow equation by considering mass conservation in both (1) a volume whose boundaries are fixed in space and (2) a volume that deforms and moves through space when the material deforms, and effectively put an end to the controversy. Cooper received the O.E. Meinzer Award from the Geological Society of America in 1969 for authoring this report.

Pinder, G.F., and Bredehoeft, J.D., 1968, Application of digital computer for aquifer evaluation [Link exits the USGS web site]: Water Resources Research, v. 4, p. 1069-1093.

This paper is one of the first published cases of the use of numerical simulation to analyze a groundwater flow system.

Poland, Joseph F. and Davis, George H., 1969, Land subsidence due to withdrawal of fluids: Geological Society of America, Reviews in Engineering Geology, v. 2, p. 187-269.

This report is a thorough compilation of subsidence field data coupled with the quantitative theory of subsidence. Poland and Davis received the O.E. Meinzer Award from the Geological Society of America in 1972 for authoring this report.

Franke, O.L., and Cohen, Philip, 1972, Regional rates of ground-water movement on Long Island, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 800-C, p. C271-C277.

This report is selected because it is an early example of a clear exposition of a conceptual model of a groundwater flow system that is quantified with the use of an analog model. The rates of flow are used to place bounds on the transport of contaminants and estimates of the rate of flushing the system.

Lohman, S.W., 1972, Ground-Water Hydraulics: U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 708, 70 p.

This publication is important because it served as both a summary of the state-of-the-science of well hydraulics at the time of publication and as an educational text, which enables hydrologists to effectively analyze aquifer tests.

Bredehoeft, J.D., and Pinder, G.F., 1973, Mass transport in flowing groundwater [Link exits the USGS web site]: Water Resources Research, v. 9, no. 1, p. 194-210.

This paper simulated groundwater flow and solute transport. It was the beginning of new numerical tools capable of examining both flow and chemistry. Bredehoeft and Pinder received the O.E. Meinzer Award from the Geological Society of America in 1975 for authoring this report.

Bennett, G.D., 1976, Introduction to ground-water hydraulics — A programmed text for self-instruction: Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations of the U.S. Geological Survey, Book 3, Chapter B2, 172 p. (Available as originally released online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/twri/twri3-b2/ or updated to include active web links at http://water.usgs.gov/ogw/pubs/TWRI3-B2/TWRI3-B2-with-links.pdf.)

The report is a programmed text designed to help learn the theory of groundwater hydraulics through self-study. The report covers basic groundwater hydraulics and introduces numerical simulation. Bennett received the O.E. Meinzer Award from the Geological Society of America in 1981 for authoring this report.

Trescott, P.C., Pinder, G.F., and Larson, S.P., 1976, Finite-difference model for aquifer simulation in two dimensions with results of numerical experiments: Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations of the U.S. Geological Survey, book 7, chap. C1, 116 p.

This is the first "production" general purpose groundwater modeling computer code distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey. The documentation stressed the basic theory and the availability of the source code in the public domain. Future USGS "production" modeling programs used this document as the example to follow to serve as documentation of a computer code.

Alphabetical list of references

Bennett, G.D., 1976, Introduction to ground-water hydraulics — A programmed text for self-instruction: Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations of the U.S. Geological Survey, Book 3, Chapter B2, 172 p. (Available as originally released online at http://pubs.usgs.gov/twri/twri3-b2/ or updated to include active web links at http://water.usgs.gov/ogw/pubs/TWRI3-B2/TWRI3-B2-with-links.pdf.)

Bredehoeft, J.D., and Pinder, G.F., 1973, Mass transport in flowing groundwater [Link exits the USGS web site]: Water Resources Research, v. 9, no. 1, p. 194-210.

Brown, R.H., 1963, The cone of depression and the area of diversion around a discharging well in an infinite strip aquifer subject to uniform recharge: in Shortcuts and special problems in aquifer tests, Ray Bentall (compiler): U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1545-C, p. C69-C85.

Cooper, H.H., 1966, The equation of groundwater flow in fixed and deforming coordinates [Link exits the USGS web site]: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 71, no. 20, p. 4785-4790.

Cooper, H.H., Kohout, F.A., Henry, H.R., and Glover, R.E., 1964, Sea water in coastal aquifers: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1613-C, 84 p.

Ferris, J.G., Knowles, D.B., Brown, R.H., and Stallman, R.W., 1962, Theory of aquifer tests: U. S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1536-E, 174 p.

Franke, O.L., and Cohen, Philip, 1972, Regional rates of ground-water movement on Long Island, New York: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 800-C, p. C271-C277.

Jacob, C.E., 1940, On the flow of water in an elastic artesian aquifer: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v. 21, p. 574-586.

Jacob, C. E., 1950, Flow of ground water, chapter 5, in Engineering Hydraulics: edited by H. Rouse, John Wiley, p. 321-386.

Lohman, S.W., 1972, Ground-Water Hydraulics: U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 708, 70 p.

Meinzer, O.E., 1928, Compressibility and elasticity of artesian aquifers [Link exits the USGS web site]: Economic Geology, p. 263-291.

Pinder, G.F., and Bredehoeft, J.D., 1968, Application of digital computer for aquifer evaluation [Link exits the USGS web site]: Water Resources Research, v. 4, p. 1069-1093.

Poland, Joseph F. and Davis, George H., 1969, Land subsidence due to withdrawal of fluids: Geological Society of America, Reviews in Engineering Geology, v. 2, p. 187-269.

Slichter, C.S., 1899, Theoretical investigations of the motion of ground waters: U.S. Geological Survey 19th Annual Report, Part II, p. 295-384.

Stallman, R.W., 1963, Electric analog of three-dimensional flow to wells and its application to unconfined aquifers: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1536-H, p. 205-242.

Stallman, R. W., 1964, Multiphase fluids in porous media - a review of theories pertinent to hydrologic studies: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 411-E, p. E1-E51.

Theis, C.V., 1935, The relation between lowering of the piezometric surface and rate and duration of discharge of a well using groundwater storage: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v. 16, p. 519-524. (Available as USGS Ground Water Branch Ground Water Notes No. 5 [440 KB PDF].)

Theis, C.V., 1940, The source of water derived from wells: Civil Engineering, v. 10, no. 5, p. 277-280. (Available as released in USGS Ground Water Branch Ground Water Notes No. 34 [1.4MB PDF].)

Trescott, P.C., Pinder, G.F., and Larson, S.P., 1976, Finite-difference model for aquifer simulation in two dimensions with results of numerical experiments: Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations of the U.S. Geological Survey, book 7, chap. C1, 116 p.


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