Importance of discrete-zone monitoring systems in fractured-bedrock wells -- A case study from the University of Connecticut landfill, Storrs, Connecticut

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Monitoring of hydraulic head is an important part of many hydrogeologic investigations because it is used to determine the rates and directions of ground-water flow. In unconfined aquifers, open-hole water levels can be used to establish meaningful conceptual models of ground-water flow. In heterogeneous fractured-rock aquifers, however, where the hydraulic head can be different for each fracture zone, open-hole water levels should not be used to determine the rates and directions of groundwater flow or to establish the conceptual model of ground-water flow.

In heterogeneous fractured rock aquifers, a discrete-zone monitoring (DZM) system is necessary to determine the spatial distribution and temporal variation of hydraulic head. The information provided by DZM systems can be used to determine vertical and horizontal hydraulic gradients, to identify connections between transmissive zones within the aquifer, and to establish the extent of connection between the fractured-rock and surficial aquifers.

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