Nevada Water Science Center

Aquifer Tests

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Phil Gardner
Groundwater Specialist
Phone: (775) 887-7664


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Carson City, NV 89701


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Dixie Valley, DVP2

Primary Investigator: Jena Huntington

Well Data

Local Name Altitude Uppermost
Primary Aquifer Hydraulic
394559118013701 DVP2 3383 9.6 5.6 ALLUVIAL FILL 7x10-4


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The hydraulic conductivity of playa sediments was estimated from a slug test in central Dixie Valley, Nevada, HA128 (fig. 1). The test started on July 13, 2011 and was completed on July 15, 2011. The estimated hydraulic properties of this playa well helps provide constraints on interpretations of groundwater movement and discharge through playa sediments as well as calibration of a future groundwater flow model of the valley.


Figure 1

Figure 1. Location of well DVP2 in Dixie Valley, Nevada


Site and Geology

The slug test occurred in well DVP2 in the southern portion of the Dixie Valley playa (fig. 1). This well was completed March 19, 2009 in playa sediments on the central valley floor (Table 1). Well completion and aquifer material information was taken from well driller’s log (Appendix A). The playa sediments consist of brown and green clay throughout the entire 9.6 ft borehole below land surface (fig. 2). Therefore, the screened interval was within clay.


Figure 2

Figure 2. Plan view and lithologic cross-section of well DVP2.


Table 1. Location and construction information for well DVP2.
[Geographic coordinates are given in latitude and longitude and reference to North American Datum of 1983; Altitude is in North American Vertical Datum of 1988]


Site ID

Well name



Land surface altitude, ft above sea level

Well depth, ft

Depth to Top of Screen, ft

Depth to Bottom of Screen, ft

Well Diameter, in












The well was tested using the Bouwer and Rice (1976) recovery method. A vented recording pressure transducer (In-Situ, Level Troll 500) was installed in the well prior to the test at an approximate depth of 5.3 ft below the top of well casing. The test began when a peristaltic pump was used to pump the 1-inch well dry, which took less than 1 minute. The pressure transducer then remained in the well and collected data as the well recovered over the next two days (Table 2).


Residual drawdowns were interpreted with the Bouwer-Rice analysis (1976), which was programmed in a spreadsheet (Halford and Kuniansky, 2002). The fit between measured residual drawdowns and the theoretical response in well DVP2 is typical (fig. 3). A hydraulic conductivity estimate of 7x10-4 ft/d was estimated for playa sediments (Table 2). This value is a reasonable hydraulic conductivity value for playa sediments in Nevada (Maurer and others, 2004, table 2).

Table 2. Aquifer test length and estimated hydraulic conductivity for DVP2 playa well in Dixie Valley, July 13, 2011.


Site ID

Well name

Measured WL prior to test start, ft below LS

Time for 90% recovery, hrs

Water Level change, ft

Hydraulic conductivity, ft/d









Figure 3. Bouwer and Rice recovery analysis of well DVP2 in Dixie Valley, NV.



Bouwer, H. and Rice, R.C., 1976, A slug test for determining hydraulic conductivity of unconfined aquifers with completely or partially penetrating wells: Water Resources Research, v. 12, no. 3, p. 423-428.

Halford, K.J. and Kuniansky, E.L., 2002, Documentation of spreadsheets fro analysis of aquifer-test and slug-test data: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-197, 51 p.

Maurer, D. K., Lopes, T. J., Medina, R. L., and Smith, J. L., 2004, Hydrogeology and hydrologic landscape regions of Nevada: U. S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2004-5131, 24 p.



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