in Advances in Water Resources (2020)
by Alejandro Fernandez Visentini, Niklas Linde, Tanguy Le Borgne, Marco Dentz
We use Approximate Bayesian Computation and the Kullback–Leibler divergence measure to quantify to what extent horizontal and vertical equivalent electrical conductivity time-series observed during tracer tests constrain the 2-D geostatistical parameters of multivariate Gaussian log-hydraulic conductivity fields. Considering a perfect and known relationship between salinity and electrical conductivity at the point scale, we find that the horizontal equivalent electrical conductivity time-series best constrain the geostatistical properties. The variance, controlling the spreading rate of the solute, is the best constrained geostatistical parameter, followed by the integral scales in the vertical direction. We find that horizontally layered models with moderate to high variance have the best resolved parameters. Since the salinity field at the averaging scale (e.g., the model resolution in tomograms) is typically non-ergodic, our results serve as a starting point for quantifying uncertainty due to small-scale heterogeneity in laboratory-experiments, tomographic results and hydrogeophysical inversions involving DC data.
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in Geophysical Research Letters (2020)
by Kevin de Vriendt, Maria Pool, Marco Dentz
The freshwater‐seawater mixing zone is a critical region for chemical activity. Yet little is known about the influence of ever present spatial heterogeneity on the dynamics of mixing and calcite dissolution, which play a key role in the understanding of karst development. We analyze the impact of different heterogeneity structures and strengths on the local and global response of mixing and dissolution rates across the saltwater freshwater mixing zone. We find that the initial heterogeneity structure significantly impacts observed dissolution and mixing patterns, which sheds some new light on karst propagation in coastal aquifers.
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in Geophysical Research Letters (August 2020)
by Richard Hoffmann, Pascal Goderniaux, Pierre Jamin, Eliot Chatton, Jérôme de la Bernardie, Thierry Labasque, Tanguy Le Borgne, Alain Dassargues
Transport in fractured media plays an important role in a range of processes, from rock weathering and microbial processes to contaminant transport, and energy extraction and storage. Diffusive transfer between the fracture fluid and the rock matrix is often a key element in these applications. But the multiscale heterogeneity of fractures renders the field assessment of these processes extremely challenging. This study explores the use of dissolved gases as tracers of fracture‐matrix interactions, which can be measured continuously and highly accurately using mobile mass spectrometers. Since their diffusion coefficients vary significantly, multiple gases are used to probe different scales of fracture‐matrix exchanges. Tracer tests with helium, xenon and argon were performed in a fractured chalk aquifer and resulting tracer breakthrough curves are modelled. Results show that continuous dissolved gas tracing with multiple tracers provide key constrains on fracture matrix interactions and reveal unexpected scale effects in fracture‐matrix exchange rates.
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in Engineering Geology (Volume 273, August 2020)
by Justine Molron, Niklas Linde, Ludovic Baron, Jan-Olof Selroos, Caroline Darcel, Philippe Davy
Identifying fractures in the subsurface is crucial for many geomechanical and hydrogeological applications. Here, we assess the ability of the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) method to image open fractures with sub-mm apertures in the context of future deep disposal of radioactive waste. GPR experiments were conducted in a tunnel located 410 m below sea level within the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory (Sweden) using 3-D surface-based acquisitions (3.4 m × 19 m) with 160 MHz, 450 MHz and 750 MHz antennas. The nature of 17 identified GPR reflections was analyzed by means of three new boreholes (BH1-BH3; 9–9.5 m deep). Out of 21 injection and outflow tests in packed-off 1-m sections, only five provided responses above the detection threshold with the maximum transmissivity reaching 7.0 × 10−10 m2/s. Most GPR reflections are situated in these permeable regions and their characteristics agree well with core and Optical Televiewer data. A 3-D statistical fracture model deduced from fracture traces on neighboring tunnel walls show that the GPR data mainly identify fractures with dips between 0 and 25°. Since the GPR data are mostly sensitive to open fractures, we deduce that the surface GPR method can identify 80% of open sub-horizontal fractures. We also find that the scaling of GPR fractures in the range of 1–10 m2 agrees well with the statistical model distribution indicating that fracture lengths are preserved by the GPR imaging (no measurement bias). Our results suggests that surface-GPR carries the resolution needed to identify the most permeable sub-horizontal fractures even in very low-permeability formations, thereby, suggesting that surface-GPR could play an important role in geotechnical workflows, for instance, for industrial-scale siting of waste canisters below tunnel floors in nuclear waste repositories.
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in HESS (April 2020)
by Andrea Palacios, Juan José Ledo, Niklas Linde, Linda Luquot, Fabien Bellmunt, Albert Folch, Alex Marcuello, Pilar Queralt, Philippe A. Pezard, Laura Martinez, Laura del Val, David Bosch, Jesus Carrera
Surface electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) is a widely used tool to study seawater intrusion (SWI). It is noninvasive and offers a high spatial coverage at a low cost, but its imaging capabilities are strongly affected by decreasing resolution with depth. We conjecture that the use of CHERT (cross-hole ERT) can partly overcome these resolution limitations since the electrodes are placed at depth, which implies that the model resolution does not decrease at the depths of interest. The objective of this study is to test the CHERT for imaging the SWI and monitoring its dynamics at the Argentona site, a well-instrumented field site of a coastal alluvial aquifer located 40 km NE of Barcelona. To do so, we installed permanent electrodes around boreholes attached to the PVC pipes to perform time-lapse monitoring of the SWI on a transect perpendicular to the coastline. After 2 years of monitoring, we observe variability of SWI at different timescales: (1) natural seasonal variations and aquifer salinization that we attribute to long-term drought and (2) short-term fluctuations due to sea storms or flooding in the nearby stream during heavy rain events. The spatial imaging of bulk electrical conductivity allows us to explain non-monotonic salinity profiles in open boreholes (step-wise profiles really reflect the presence of freshwater at depth). By comparing CHERT results with traditional in situ measurements such as electrical conductivity of water samples and bulk electrical conductivity from induction logs, we conclude that CHERT is a reliable and cost-effective imaging tool for monitoring SWI dynamics.
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