Nevada Water Science Center

Aquifer Tests

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


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Nevada Water Science Center
2730 N. Deer Run Rd.
Carson City, NV 89701


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Dixie Valley, Wonder Well

Primary Investigator: Jena Huntington

Well Data

Local Name Altitude Uppermost
Primary Aquifer Transmissivity
391900118085801 Wonder Well 4348.7 400 500 ALLUVIAL FILL 2500


Aquifer Tests

All Aquifer Test Files (zip)

Wonder Well

Aquifer Test (pdf) || Groundwater Levels (NWISweb)


A private company was contracted to complete a constant rate pumping test in an isolated well in southern Dixie Valley, Nevada, hydrographic area 128 (fig. 1). Pumping data was analyzed as a single-well aquifer test. The aquifer test was 48 hours in duration and was preceded by a 6-hour step test. Testing was done from May 16th to May 19th, 2011. Transmissivity of basin-fill sediments from approximately 400-500 ft below land surface was estimated. Estimated hydraulic properties of this well fill in hydrogeologic data gaps in the valley and will help constrain calibration of a future groundwater flow model of the valley.



Figure 1. Location of well for aquifer testing in Dixie Valley, Nevada


Site and Geology

The single-well aquifer test occurred in southern Dixie Valley, Nevada (fig. 1) within alluvial basin-fill sediments on the valley floor. Well completion and aquifer material information was taken from well driller’s logs (table 1 and Appendix A). The alluvial fill comprised cobbles, gravel, sand and small amounts of clay intervals from about 4,350 to 3,850 feet above North American Vertical Datum of 1988 (0 to 500 feet below land surface). The screened interval penetrated mostly gravel and sand.


Table 1. Location and construction of well used in Dixie Valley single-well aquifer test

[Geographic coordinates are given in latitude and longitude referenced to North American Datum of 1983 and vertical altitude data is referenced to North American Vertical Datum of 1988. ]


Site ID

Well name



Land surface altitude, ft above sea level

Well depth, ft

Static water level, ft below land surface

Depth to Top of Screen, ft

Depth to Bottom of Screen, ft

Well Diameter, in


Wonder well

39° 18' 59.96"

118° 08' 58.35"








Procedures and Analysis

A preliminary step-drawdown test and a constant-rate pumping test were done in the Wonder well. The well was equipped with a submersible pump, discharge line, and flow meter. During the step-drawdown test, water levels were manually measured and pumping rates were adjusted periodically to ensure a constant rate was achieved (table 2 and fig. 2). Following the 6-hour step-drawdown test, the well was allowed to recover overnight and then pumped constantly for 48 hours. The Wonder well was allowed to recover for about six hours before the pump was removed from the well.
Data were analyzed using an Excel spreadsheet program (Halford and Kuniansky, 2002) and the Cooper-Jacob analysis (1946) (fig. 3).


Table 2. Aquifer test length, pumping rates and estimated transmissivity for Wonder well single-well aquifer test.


Site ID

Well name

Length of Test, hrs

Pumping rate, gpm

Water Level Change, ft

Transmissivity, ft2/d


Wonder well






Figure 2. Graph showing pumping rates and water levels during Wonder Well aquifer test.


Hydraulic Property Estimate

The estimated transmissivity of the Wonder Well is about 2,500 ft2/d for basin-fill sediments (table 2). Observations included in the transmissivity uncertainty include 1) the static water level was within the screened interval prior to the test start and 2) the saturated thickness within the screened interval decreased as the test progressed.


Figure 3. Cooper-Jacob analysis of the Wonder well in Dixie Valley, NV.



Cooper, H.H. and Jacob, C.E. , 1946, A generalized graphical method for evaluating formation constants and summarizing well field history, American Geophysical Union Transactions, v. 27, 526-534.

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


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