An objective frequency domain method for quantifying confined aquifer compressible storage using Earth and atmospheric tides

R Ian Acworth, Landon Halloran, Gabriel Rau, Mark Cuthbert, Tony Bernardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


The groundwater hydraulic head response to the worldwide and ubiquitous atmospheric tide at 2 cycles per day (cpd) is a direct function of confined aquifer compressible storage. The ratio of the responses of hydraulic head to the atmospheric pressure change is a measure of aquifer barometric efficiency, from which formation compressibility and aquifer specific storage can be determined in situ rather than resorting to laboratory or aquifer pumping tests. The Earth tide also impacts the hydraulic head response at the same frequency, and a method is developed here to quantify and remove this interference. As a result, the barometric efficiency can be routinely calculated from 6-hourly hydraulic head, atmospheric pressure, and modeled Earth tide records where available for a minimum of 15 days duration. This new approach will be of critical importance in assessing worldwide problems of land subsidence or groundwater resource evaluation that both occur due to groundwater abstraction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11,671-11,678
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2016


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