Murdoch Solution for Flow to an Interceptor Trench in Confined Aquifers

Trench-aquifer configuration for Murdoch (1994) solution for a confined aquifer

A mathematical solution by Murdoch (1994) is useful for determining the hydraulic properties (hydraulic conductivity, specific storage, hydraulic conductivity anisotropy and trench length) of nonleaky confined aquifers with pumping from an interceptor trench. Analysis involves matching the solution to drawdown data collected during a pumping test. The solution estimates hydraulic conductivity anisotropy in a horizontal (x-y) plane.

AQTESOLV provides visual and automatic methods for matching the Murdoch solution to pumping test and recovery test data. This easy-to-use and intuitive software promotes rapid and accurate determination of aquifer properties.


The following assumptions apply to the use of the Murdoch trench solution:

  • aquifer has infinite areal extent
  • aquifer has uniform thickness
  • aquifer potentiometric surface is initially horizontal
  • trench is fully penetrating
  • aquifer is nonleaky confined
  • flow is unsteady
  • water is released instantaneously from storage with decline of hydraulic head


provides the following options for the Murdoch trench solution:

  • variable pumping rates
  • multiple pumping wells
  • multiple observation wells


Murdoch, L.C., 1994. Transient analyses of an interceptor trench, Water Resources Research, vol. 30, no. 11, pp. 3023-3031.