Pressure waves are transmitted in confined aquifers with relatively little damping compared with surficial phreatic aquifers. Confined aquifers may therefore be subject to abrupt and far-reaching changes in the rate and direction of groundwater flow due to changes in well pumping. Where
there is a mechanism for contaminants to reach a confined aquifer, the contaminant migration within the aquifer can be significantly influenced by flow field variability. A groundwater flow and mass transport study recently conducted for a site in Nassau County, New York had to account for
rapid flow changes and complete 360-degree variability in groundwater flow direction over time. Study results were presented using animations, which clearly illustrated the dynamic nature of groundwater flow patterns within the confined aquifer.
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