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Article

The Radius of Influence Myth

1
Laboratory for Applied Geology and Hydrogeology, Department of Geology, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281-S8, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
2
De Watergroep, Water Resources and Environment, Vooruitgangstraat 189, 1030 Brussels, Belgium
3
Arcadis Belgium nv/sa, Gaston Crommenlaan 8, Bus 101, 9050 Ghent, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Hongwei Lu
Water 2022, 14(2), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020149
Received: 11 November 2021 / Revised: 10 December 2021 / Accepted: 3 January 2022 / Published: 7 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrogeology)
Empirical formulas to estimate the radius of influence, such as the Sichardt formula, occasionally appear in studies assessing the environmental impact of groundwater extractions. As they are inconsistent with fundamental hydrogeological principles, the term “radius of influence myth” is used by analogy with the water budget myth. Alternative formulations based on the well-known de Glee and Theis equations are presented, and the contested formula that estimates the radius of influence by balancing pumping and infiltration rate is derived from an asymptotic solution of an analytical model developed by Ernst in 1971. The transient state solution of this model is developed applying the Laplace transform, and it is verified against the finite-difference solution. Examining drawdown and total storage change reveals the relations between the presented one-dimensional radial flow solutions. The assumptions underlying these solutions are discussed in detail to show their limitations and to refute misunderstandings about their applicability. The discussed analytical models and the formulas derived from it to estimate the radius of influence cannot be regarded as substitutes for advanced modeling, although they offer valuable insights on relevant parameter combinations. View Full-Text
Keywords: radius of influence; Sichardt formula; Dupuit equation; Thiem equation; Theis equation; de Glee equation; axisymmetric well-flow; analytical models; groundwater extractions; sustainable development radius of influence; Sichardt formula; Dupuit equation; Thiem equation; Theis equation; de Glee equation; axisymmetric well-flow; analytical models; groundwater extractions; sustainable development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Louwyck, A.; Vandenbohede, A.; Libbrecht, D.; Van Camp, M.; Walraevens, K. The Radius of Influence Myth. Water 2022, 14, 149. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020149

AMA Style

Louwyck A, Vandenbohede A, Libbrecht D, Van Camp M, Walraevens K. The Radius of Influence Myth. Water. 2022; 14(2):149. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020149

Chicago/Turabian Style

Louwyck, Andy, Alexander Vandenbohede, Dirk Libbrecht, Marc Van Camp, and Kristine Walraevens. 2022. "The Radius of Influence Myth" Water 14, no. 2: 149. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14020149

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