Groundwater Transmissivity Calculator

Compute aquifer transmissivity from hydraulic conductivity and aquifer thickness



Hydraulic conductivity, K: 
Aquifer thickness, h or b: 
Transmissivity, T: 
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Research, and Software, Ltd.    

Units in groundwater transmissivity calculator: cm=centimeter, ft=foot, gpd=U.S. gallon/day, gph=U.S. gallon/hr, gpm=U.S. gallon/min, gal=gallon (U.S.), hr=hour, km=kilometer, m=meter, min=minute, s=second.

Groundwater Drawing and Transmissivity Equation


Unconfined Aquifer: T = K h

Confined Aquifer: T = K b

Aquifer transmissivity is a useful parameter in groundwater flow modeling. Transmissivity includes the aquifer hydraulic conductivity which is a property of the aquifer. Hydraulic conductivity is a function of the fluid moving through the porous medium (i.e. aquifer, formation) and the permeability of the formation. Many experiments over many years have been conducted of water flowing through various porous media. Hydraulic conductivities determined from many experiments have been tabulated. The table below is typical. In viewing the table, it is apparent that hydraulic conductivity values cover a wide range even for a given formation. If field or laboratory test results of hydraulic conductivity are not available for your particular formation, then use of published values like the ones below are helpful guides.

In addition to hydraulic conductivity, transmissivity is a function of aquifer thickness. In unconfined aquifers, the aquifer thickness is a height h. h is the water depth above an impermeable boundary. If a well is pumped, h can vary with time and location. In confined aquifers, the aquifer thickness b is independent of any effects of pumping since the aquifer is bound between two impermeable layers. Water in a confined aquifer is under pressure between the layers. If the water level drops below the upper impermeable layer, then the aquifer would no longer be confined.

Hydraulic Conductivity Table (Freeze and Cherry, 1979, p. 29)

The values in the drop-down menu in our transmissivity calculator are typical numbers within the ranges given below for clayey, silty, sandy, and gravelly soil.

Unconsolidated Deposits  Hydraulic Conductivity (m/s)
Unweathered Marine Clay  10-12 - 10-9
Glacial Till  10-12 - 10-6
Silt, Loess  10-9 - 10-5
Silty Sand  10-7 - 10-3
Clean Sand  10-6 - 10-2
Gravel  10-3 - 1

Unfractured Metamorphic and Igneous Rocks  10-14 - 10-10
Shale  10-13 - 10-9
Sandstone  10-10 - 10-6
Limestone and dolomite  10-9 - 10-6
Fractured Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks  10-8 - 10-4
Permeable Basalt  10-7 - 10-2
Karst Limestone  10-6 - 10-2

Notation (SI units are shown. Transmissivity calculator allows variety of units)
b = Confined aquifer thickness (m).
h = Height of water table in unconfined aquifer (m).
K = Aquifer hydraulic conductivity (m/s).
T = Aquifer tranmssivity (m2/s).

Freeze, R. A. and Cherry, J. A. 1979. Groundwater. Prentice-Hall, Inc.

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