Variation of specific yield with depth in an alluvial aquifer of the Platte River valley, USA

Jinxi Song, Xunhong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Estimation of specific yield (Sy) of an aquifer is of great importance in water resource management. In this study, an experimental drainage method was developed to determine specific yield of an alluvial aquifer of the Platte River valley, Nebraska, USA. Sets of sediment cores with continuous interval depth were collected to plastic tubes using the direct push technique and then taken to the laboratory. During the Sy experiment, those sediment cores were re-saturated by placing them vertically in a large water tank. Sy was determined by the water drained from the sediments by force of gravity in a bracket. Our results show that the values of Sy varied largely with depth at each site and the variability for Sy with interval depth between the test sites is also observed. This spatial heterogeneity in Sy might result from the variation of grain size, grain shape, sorting and compaction of sediments in different cores with interval depth. The Sy for all sediment cores ranged from 0.01 to 0.18 and the mean value was 0.08±0.04. Our drainage method can functionally preserve the sedimentary structures in their original state and it is easier to experiment at a lower expense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Sediment Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Alluvial aquifer
  • Drainage experiment
  • Sediment core
  • Specific yield
  • The Platte River valley

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Stratigraphy


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