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Water 2015, 7(11), 6411-6426; doi:10.3390/w7116411

Method of Relating Grain Size Distribution to Hydraulic Conductivity in Dune Sands to Assist in Assessing Managed Aquifer Recharge Projects: Wadi Khulays Dune Field, Western Saudi Arabia

1
Water Desalination and Reuse Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
2
Whitaker College of Engineering, Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Boulevard South, Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Trevor Elliot
Received: 12 August 2015 / Revised: 12 October 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 12 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resources Assessment and Management in Drylands)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2004 KB, uploaded 12 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

Planning for use of a dune field aquifer for managed aquifer recharge (MAR) requires that hydraulic properties need to be estimated over a large geographic area. Saturated hydraulic conductivity of dune sands is commonly estimated from grain size distribution data by employing some type of empirical equation. Over 50 samples from the Wadi Khulays dune field in Western Saudi Arabia were collected and the grain size distribution, porosity, and hydraulic conductivity were measured. An evaluation of 20 existing empirical equations showed a generally high degree of error in the predicted compared to the measured hydraulic conductivity values of these samples. Statistical analyses comparing estimated versus measured hydraulic conductivity demonstrated that there is a significant relationship between hydraulic conductivity and mud percentage (and skewness). The modified Beyer equation, which showed a generally low prediction error, was modified by adding a second term fitting parameter related to the mud concentration based on 25 of the 50 samples analyzed. An inverse optimization process was conducted to quantify the fitting parameter and a new empirical equation was developed. This equation was tested against the remaining 25 samples analyzed and produced an estimated saturated hydraulic conductivity with the lowest error of any empirical equation. This methodology can be used for large dune field hydraulic conductivity estimation and reduce planning costs for MAR systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: managed aquifer recharge; dune sediments; grain size distribution; hydraulic conductivity; porosity; empirical equations managed aquifer recharge; dune sediments; grain size distribution; hydraulic conductivity; porosity; empirical equations
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lopez, O.M.; Jadoon, K.Z.; Missimer, T.M. Method of Relating Grain Size Distribution to Hydraulic Conductivity in Dune Sands to Assist in Assessing Managed Aquifer Recharge Projects: Wadi Khulays Dune Field, Western Saudi Arabia. Water 2015, 7, 6411-6426.

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