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Chilean journal of agricultural research

versión On-line ISSN 0718-5839


RUPP, David E et al. Unconfined Aquifer Permeability near hand-dug Wells in the Coastal and Interior dryland of the Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins Region, Chile. Chilean J. Agric. Res. [online]. 2011, vol.71, n.2, pp.267-274. ISSN 0718-5839.

In the dryland of the Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins Region in Chile, most farmers rely on wide and shallow hand-dug wells as their primary source of water during the dry summer. Few of these wells have sufficient yield for more than domestic use (human consumption, livestock, and irrigation of a subsistence garden). To more accurately assess available groundwater resources, saturated hydraulic conductivity (K) of aquifers in the eight counties that comprise this region’s dryland was estimated using evacuation and recovery tests in 353 hand-dug wells. K followed a log-normal distribution and ranged over nearly five orders of magnitude. County median K varied by a factor of 5 and a slight increasing K trend in the southward direction. In one northern county, less than 4% of the sites had K > 4 m d-1. In the t two southernmost counties, approximately one-quarter of the K values exceeded 4 m d-1. This is approximately the minimum K required for a typical well (1 m diameter and 3 m depth below the water table) to yield 1 L s-1 of water, which is roughly the yield required to irrigate 1 ha. Aquifers located where parent material was predominantly intrusive granite had slightly higher and statistically significant K than those formed predominantly of metamorphic and sedimentary rock. A semi-variogram of K provided weak evidence of a characteristic length scale of approximately 4 km.

Palabras clave : Groundwater; well recovery; slug-test.

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