Poster: A field assessment of the ability of Ground Penetrating Radar to detect fractures in very low permeable crystalline rock

Event: AGU Fall Meeting 2019, San Francisco (USA)
Poster by Justine Molron, Niklas Linde, Ludovic Baron, Jan-Olof Selroos, Caroline Darcel, Philippe Davy


The identification of (open) fractures in the subsurface is critical for evaluating potential routes for contaminant transport from deep disposal sites. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is suitable for this task and its detection capacity depends on fracture characteristics (orientation, aperture and size) and on the dielectrical and electrical contrast between the fluid or material filling the fractures and the surrounding bedrock.

A GPR experiment was performed in the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory (Sweden) in a tunnel located 410 m below the sea level with a length of 20 m long, a width of 4 m and a height of 4.5 m. The geological formations are fractured granite, diorite and granodiorite with negligible matrix permeability and very low transmissive fractures (10E-9 to 10E-10 m2/s for most permeable zones).

We used 160 MHz, 450 MHz and 750 MHz antennas, pulled along the clean and flat tunnel floor along parallel lines separated by 0.10 m for 160 MHz and by 0.05 m for 450 and 750 MHz antennas. This measurement set-up and antenna choices allow for a 3D identification of fractures from GPR diffractions and reflections, with different image resolutions and investigation depths reaching 10m, 8m and 5m for 160, 450 and 750 MHz, respectively.

Based on the data, we identify 15 reflections that could correspond to larger fractures with dimensions of 2 to 5 m. We compare the GPR-inferred fractures with the corelogging of three 9.5 m deep boreholes that were drilled after the GPR campaign. The strong GPR reflections in the borehole area largely correspond to the depth and orientation to the fractures identified by the Optical Televiewer (OPTV) data.

Additionally, pumping and injection tests in each borehole showed that the GPR-inferred fractures are situated in the most permeable regions. The occurrence of GPR fractures was then compared with a statistical description of the fracture network built from the intersection of boreholes and 2D trace maps from tunnel walls. Given the average size of the GPR-inferred fractures, we demonstrate that they are overall consistent with the expected fracture density below the tunnel.


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Poster: Hydrogeophysical monitoring of a controlled infiltration experiment at the Ploemeur Hydrological Observatory (Brittany, France)

Event: Journées des Doctorants – Ecole Doctorale Géosciences, Ressources Naturelles et Environnement – Paris (France), 19/03/2019
Poster by Lara Blazevic, Ludovic Bodet, Laurent Longuevergne, Sylvain Pasquet, Damien Jougnot


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Poster: Finding appropriate rocks physics models to interpret seismic data in hydrogeophysics applications

Event: AGU Fall Meeting 2018, Washington DC (USA)
poster by Lara Blazevic, Ludovic Bodet, Damien Jougnot, Laurent Longuvergne


Seismic methods have been recently applied to the monitoring of spatial and temporal variations of near surface characteristics for hydrogeological purposes. The seismic signal is certainly related to mechanical properties that partly depend on porosity and saturation. The behavior of pressure (P) and shear (S) waves in the presence of water is partially decoupled, and the ratio of their propagation velocities VP/VS has been used to study water saturation changes.

However, the interpretation of the mechanical properties remains complex in unconsolidated near surface materials, limiting the quantitative description of linked hydrodynamic properties. In this study, we investigate the theories behind wave propagation velocities in poorly consolidated media and how they are affected by water content, focusing our discussion on the partially saturated response.

We present a field case where we used a Hertz-Mindlin based rock physics model to estimate water saturation from VP and VS from seismic data. The model is able to distinguish between dry and fully saturated areas at two distinct hydrological periods, but fails in identifying partially saturated areas in both cases. This work underlines the need for more elaborated models to infer hydrodynamic properties from seismic data.

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Poster: Flow dynamics and resulting reactivity in the transition zone between streams and riparian aquifers

Event: EGU 2019 General Assembly, Vienna (Austria)
Poster by Guilherme Nogueira, Christian Schmidt, Nico Trauth, Jan H. Fleckenstein


Stream-groundwater mixing zones are well known for their role in facilitating ecosystem metabolism which also results in enhanced water quality (e.g. by denitrification). However, due to their highly dynamic biogeophysical characteristics (i.e. temperature, flow directions, residence times), a simple and general quantification of the reactivity potential is not readily possible.

Here, we combined conservative and reactive tracer-tests with high frequency measurements of electrical conductivity (EC) and dissolved oxygen (DO) to enhance the understanding of the hydraulic variations on aquifer’s reactivity potential. We analysed the reactivity in terms of Damköhler numbers (DA) and assess its patterns over time and space, while comparing its dependency on short and long term temperature and river discharge fluctuations.


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Poster: Quantification of the real-time flow contribution of the fractures in fractured wellbores using Distributed Temperature Data

Event: EGU 2019 General Assembly, Vienna (Austria)
Poster by Behzad Pouladi, Olivier Bour, Laurent Longuevergne, Jérôme de La Bernardie


Heat has been increasingly used as a tracer for characterization of the subsurface media both in fractured and porous aquifers. In fractured wellbore, understanding of the role of each fracture in total production of the fluid and the change of their contribution with change of the system conditions can help us increase our understanding about the system.

Considering the fact that when fluid being produced from an aquifer, the produced fluid experiences changing temperatures with depth while it travels up toward the surface and this change is related to the fluid velocity (flow rate), fluid properties as well as wellbore and formation properties. Using the Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) which in fact allows to measure the temperature both in time and space along the fiber optic, one can perform real time flow profiling and see the change of flow in each fracture with time.

In this work, a wellbore heat transfer model for a water production scenario, based on the wellbore heat transfer model presented by Hasan, Kabir [1] has been implemented in the MATLAB ® software. The model considers steady state heat transfer inside the wellbore and transient heat transfer from the wellbore to the formation. We use this analytical model to back calculate the flow rate in each section of the wellbores and thus flow contribution of each fracture using the temperature profile inside the wellbore.

The approach has been verified both numerically and experimentally. Distributed temperature data were recorded in different ambient and pumping flow rate in a fractured wellbore in Ploemeur site in Brittany, France. For cross validation, flow rates were also measured by Heat pulse flow meter.

The results show that model can predict real time contribution of each fracture to the total flow rate satisfactorily in different ambient and pumping rate. We also propose an automatic inflow zone (fracture/perforation location) detection which can help diagnosis of flowing zones (fracture locations). This model provides a basis for studying the transient behaviour and contribution of the fractures in different hydraulic conditions. For instance, the contribution of fractures in flow in different time of the years, studying the tidal effects on fracture flows, etc.

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