ESR N° 6: Active Fiber-Optic DTS methods to monitor subsurface flow dynamics

Research Fellow: Behzad Pouladi, University of Rennes1, France

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Novel application of Active Fiber-Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (FO-DTS) for characterization of subsurface media i.e. both fractured and porous media. The data acquired by continuously monitoring the temperature data by using FO-DTS will be inverted to obtain hydraulic tomographies.

More details about ESR6-project:


  • UNIL 6 months to develop inversion methods of groundwater flow velocities measurements. Two 3 months visit are planned, the first one in spring 2019 (18/02/2019-18/05/2019) to develop the method, the second one in automn 2019 (06/01/2020-06/04/2020) for testing the method on synthetical case studies.
  • Silixa: one to two months during summer 2019 (Summer 2019) to be trained on the use of passive and active DTS methods.

Tasks and methodology 

  • Adapting these recent developments in various hydraulic conditions (cross-borehole interference tests, periodic hydraulic tests and ambient conditions) to test the possibility of using heat as a groundwater tracer in fractured media.
  • Testing the feasibility of developing an innovative hydraulic tomography approach based on distributed data on flows and temperature changes. The method will be based on active DTS methods thanks to buried cables within saturated porous media to quantify in-situ fluxes during hydraulic tests within sandy aquifers or saline wedges.
  • Employing multiphysics sensing method such as strain sensing will also be investigated for characterizing hydromechanical behaviors of heterogeneous media.


  • Olivier Bour
  • Laurent Longuevergne

Dissemination and communications

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Database for the future datasets: H+ database


Fiber-Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing: A novel Tool that allows continuous monitoring of the temperature along the fiber-optic cable with high spatial resolution.

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