﻿ Lugeon Tests

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# Lugeon Test Theory and Analysis Method

The Lugeon test (or Packer Test) is an in-situ testing method widely used to estimate the average hydraulic conductivity of rock formations. The test is named after Maurice Lugeon (1933), a Swiss geologist who first formulated the test. The test is also referred to as a "water pressure test" or a "packer test". The Lugeon test is a constant rate injection test carried out in a portion of a borehole isolated by inflated packers. Water is injected into the isolated portion of the borehole using a slotted pipe. Water is injected at specific pressure “steps” and the resulting pressure is recorded when the flow has reached a quasi-steady state condition. A pressure transducer is also located in that portion of the borehole to measure the pressure with a help of reading station on the surface. The results provide information about hydraulic conductivity of the rock mass including the rock matrix and the discontinuities (Rolye, undated).

## Assumptions and Limitations

One of the main drawbacks of the Lugeon test is that only a limited volume of rock around the hole is actually affected by the test. It has been estimated that the effect of the Lugeon tests – with a test interval length of 10 feet - is restricted to an approximate radius of 30 feet around the borehole (Bliss and Rushton, 1984). This suggests that the hydraulic conductivity value estimated from this test is only representative for a cylinder of rock delimited by the length of the test interval and the radius given above. The test can be applied for both vertical and slanted/angled boreholes. AquiferTest assumes that flow meter readings are taken every one minute.

Additional information can be obtained from hydrogeologic references such as:

Bliss, J. and Rushton, K., 1984. The reliability of packer tests for estimating the hydraulic conductivity of aquifers. Q. J. Eng. Geol. Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 81-91.

Fell, R., MacGregor, P., Stapledon. D., Bell, G., 2005. Geotechnical Engineering of Dams. Taylor & Francis. London. UK.

Houlsby, A., 1976. Routine Interpretation of the Lugeon Water-Test. Q. J. Eng. Geol. Vol. 9, pp. 303-313.

Lancaster-Jones, P.F.F, 1975.  The interpretation of the Lugeon water-test Q. J. Eng. Geol. Vol. 8, No. 2,  pp. 151-154.

Lugeon, M., 1933. Barrages et  géologie: méthodes de recherches, terrassement et imperméabilisation. Librairie de l’Université, F. Rouge & Cie, éditeurs. Paris, 1933.

Quiñones-Rozo, C., 2010. Lugeon test interpretation, revisited. In: Collaborative Management of Integrated Watersheds, US Society of Dams, 30th Annual Conference, S. 405–414.

Royle, M., Undated. Standard Operating Procedures for Borehole Packager Testing, SRK Consulting.