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On-Demand Webinars

Analyzing Head Distributions and Vertical Hydraulic Gradients

An understanding of the meaning and measurement of hydraulic gradients is essential for correct analysis and interpretation of groundwater flow in low-permeability materials.

This webinar is the second of a two-part series on aquitards. Although both webinars are designed to complement each other they can also be viewed independently.

This 90-minute webinar will review the characteristics of hydraulic head distributions in low-K materials and show how aquitards impact groundwater flow paths. The instructors will demonstrate how to construct diagnostic plots of hydraulic head profiles that provide immediate insight into groundwater movement and heterogeneity at any field site. Such plots are essential for correctly designing groundwater monitoring systems, selecting monitoring locations, and interpreting monitoring results. The webinar will also cover the definition and significance of a water table in low-K settings and evidence for or against perched conditions. Participants will undertake a hands-on exercise demonstrating the hydraulic concepts presented.

Apply webinar topics to any low-permeability setting

The webinar will demonstrate the effects of aquitards on groundwater flow and well response and show how typical monitoring well configurations can yield useless or misleading information in low-permeability settings. All materials presented will be geared to practical application in the field with the goal of improving hydrogeologic characterization.

  • Summary of aquitard hydraulics
  • How aquitards refract flow lines
  • Diagnostic plots of hydraulic head profiles
  • Relationships between hydraulic gradients, hydraulic conductivity, and groundwater flow rates
  • Effects of transient conditions
  • Evidence for (and against) perched conditions
  • Example problem

"All the webinars that I ordered were excellent, taught by high quality instructors. Each one addressed some (important technical) gaps. I enjoyed the webinars on the 'Hydrogeology of Aquitards and Low Permeability Materials' and the webinar on 'Slug Testing for Site Characterization'. These are important hydrologic subjects that are not usually covered in school curricula. Aquitards are important part of every groundwater project when describing the flow of groundwater in aquifers or the movement of contaminants in groundwater."
- William Ford, Geohydrologist, Federal Agency

Instructors Bio

Kenneth Bradbury, PhD, PG

Ken Bradbury received his PhD in Geology from the UW-Madison in 1982, and has been a research hydrogeologist/professor with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, University of Wisconsin-Extension, since that time. He serves as Program Leader of water and environmental programs for the Survey.

Ken's applied research includes groundwater flow in fractured media, aquitard hydrogeology, groundwater recharge processes, wellhead protection, and the hydrogeology of glacial deposits.

Ken is the author of numerous scientific papers and reports, is a Fellow in the Geological Society of America, has chaired the National Research Council Committee on Water Resources Research for the U.S. Geological Survey, and is a former member of the National Research Council's Water Science and Technology Board. In 2007 Ken undertook six weeks of research and teaching in South Africa and Zimbabwe supported by the Fulbright Senior Specialist Program.

Dave Hart PhD, PG

Dave Hart is a hydrogeologist/geophysicist with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Dave's applied research includes regional groundwater flow and recharge in southeastern Wisconsin, near-surface geophysics, and measurement of porosities and permeabilities in aquifers and aquitards. Prior to joining the university, he served as a hydrogeologist with Eder Associates. He is an associate editor for Ground Water and past president of the AWRA - Wisconsin Section.

Fee: 299.00 USD Per Webinar

Downloads: Session Slides (PDF)
Additional Materials
  • Aquitard References

  • Contaminant Transport Through Aquitards: A State of the Science Review

  • Contaminant Transport Through Aquitards: Technical Guidance for Aquitard Assessment

Record of Attendance Form (PDF)

Number of Participants: Unlimited from a single computer (Broadcast webinar in your conference room or auditorium for no extra charge)

Continuing Education Certificates: Unlimited. $14.95 each. Official CEU certificates are available as an option and only available at the time of webinar participation from Northern Illinois University. Ordering steps are given at time of webinar order.

Access: On-demand, anytime 24/7.
Access Duration: 24 hours.

Discounts: Buy 3 on-demand webinars, and get 3 on-demand webinars for free!

Duration: 90 minutes
PDH Earned: 1.5 hours
MA LSP: 1.5 hours (MA LSP No. 1417-D)
Instructor(s): Ken Bradbury, Ph.D., PG Program Leader and Hydrogeologist and
David Hart, Ph.D., PG, Hydrogeologist

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