Project

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A field assessment of high resolution aquifer characterization: An integrated approach combining hydraulic tomography and tracer tomography

Applicant Bayer Peter
Number 140450
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Geologisches Institut ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.04.2012 - 31.10.2015
Approved amount 241'380.00
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Keywords (2)

tracer tomography; hydraulic tomography

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

In studies of solute transport, the long-term behaviors, as well as the first arrival times, are of great significance. While the first arrival times are important in the risk assessment during the breakthrough of a solute, the long-term behavior determines the duration of remediation and thus the financial cost. The quality of subsurface transport predictions depends strongly on the investigation scale. By neglecting relatively thin structures, such as sedimentary intra channel deposits constituting high-permeability zones, predictions are hardly accurate enough as would be required in the planning of remediation strategies. Traditional hydrogeological approaches appear to have difficulties providing high-resolution parameter estimates. Thus, this project aims to develop an integrated approach combining hydraulic and tracer tomography. The integrated approach will allow us to determine directly the spatial distribution of hydraulic conductivity, specific storage, diffusivity and porosity with high resolution. Particularly, porosity is a quantity that is rarely known but often of considerable practical importance, especially for the prediction of contaminant transport and the design of effective remediation systems. Our approach will be implemented in the field at the well-characterized test sites Niederneunforn/Altikon and Widen, both located in the Thur valley. More than 70 observation wells were installed and the test sites were characterized by different laboratory investigations, hydraulic testing, tracer testing, and detailed two- and three-dimensional geophysical surveys. For the installation of additional test and observation wells, we will exploit the ease of access to shallow unconsolidated formations provided by direct-push technology. Another goal of our study will be the combination of the hydraulic/tracer tomographic approach with geophysical tomographic surveys. Therefore, we will develop techniques for the derivation of site-specific relationships between the hydraulic/transport parameters and the geophysical parameters, allowing for the transformation of geophysical parameters into images of hydraulic/transport parameters. The combination of hydraulic/tracer tomographic and geophysical tomographic measurements has the potential to provide large-scale, high-resolution hydraulic and transport parameters.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Prediction of solute transport in a heterogeneous aquifer utilizing hydraulic conductivity and specific storage tomograms
Jiménez S., Brauchler R., Brauchler R., Hu R., Hu L., Schmidt S., Ptak T., Bayer P. (2015), Prediction of solute transport in a heterogeneous aquifer utilizing hydraulic conductivity and specific storage tomograms, in Water Resources Research, 51(7), 5504-5520.
A laboratory study of tracer tomography
Brauchler Ralf, Böhm Gualtiero, Leven Carsten, Dietrich Peter, Sauter Martin (2013), A laboratory study of tracer tomography, in Hydogeology Journal, 21 (6), 1265-1274.
A new sequential procedure for hydraulic tomographic inversion
Jimenéz Santos, Brauchler Ralf, Bayer Peter (2013), A new sequential procedure for hydraulic tomographic inversion, in Advances in Water Resources, 62, 59-70.
Rapid field application of hydraulic tomography for resolving aquifer heterogeneity in unconsolidated sediments
Brauchler Ralf, Hu Rui, Hu Linwei, Jiménez Santos, Bayer Peter, Dietrich Peter, Ptak Thomas (2013), Rapid field application of hydraulic tomography for resolving aquifer heterogeneity in unconsolidated sediments, in Water Resources Research, 49,, 1-12.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Instituto nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, OGS Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Department Water Resources and Drinking Water/Eawag Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Applied Geology, University of Göttingen Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
42nd IAH congress AQUA 2015 Talk given at a conference Multi-tracer tomography for identifying subsurface structures 13.09.2015 Rome, Italy Brauchler Ralf; Bayer Peter; Jiménez Parras Santos;
42nd IAH congress AQUA 2015 Poster A new Bayesian procedure for multi-level slug test analysis 13.09.2015 Rome, Italy Jiménez Parras Santos; Bayer Peter; Brauchler Ralf;
AGU Fall Meeting Poster A Stochastic Approach to Tracer Tomography 15.12.2014 San Francisco, United States of America Brauchler Ralf; Bayer Peter; Jiménez Parras Santos;
Computational Methods in Water Resources Talk given at a conference Towards hydraulic tomographic inversion that efficiently integrates hard and soft information 10.06.2014 Stuttgart, Germany Jiménez Parras Santos; Brauchler Ralf; Bayer Peter;
European Geosciences Union General Assembly Poster Comparison of different investigation methods to characterise alluvial gravel aquifers 27.04.2014 Vienna, Austria Bayer Peter; Jiménez Parras Santos; Brauchler Ralf;
Fall Meeting, AGU 2013 Talk given at a conference Rapid field application of hydraulic tomography 09.12.2013 San Francisco, United States of America Bayer Peter; Brauchler Ralf; Jiménez Parras Santos;
Novcare Conference Individual talk A new sequential procedure for hydraulic tomography combining an eikonal and a pilot point based inversion scheme 13.05.2013 Leipzig, Germany Bayer Peter; Brauchler Ralf; Jiménez Parras Santos;
AGU Fall Meeting 2012 Poster Hydraulic tomography reconstruction used as a prior for a highly parameterized inversion based on pilot points 03.12.2012 San Francisco, United States of America Jiménez Parras Santos; Bayer Peter; Brauchler Ralf;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
149128 Tomographic thermal tracer investigation of alluvial aquifer heterogeneity 01.11.2013 Project funding

Abstract

In studies of solute transport, the long-term behaviors, as well as the first arrival times, are of great significance. While the first arrival times are important in the risk assessment during the breakthrough of a solute, the long-term behavior determines the duration of remediation and thus the financial cost. The quality of subsurface transport predictions depends strongly on the investigation scale. By neglecting relatively thin structures, such as sedimentary intra channel deposits constituting high-permeability zones, predictions are hardly accurate enough as would be required in the planning of remediation strategies. Traditional hydrogeological approaches appear to have difficulties providing high-resolution parameter estimates. Thus, this project aims to develop an integrated approach combining hydraulic and tracer tomography. The integrated approach will allow us to determine directly the spatial distribution of hydraulic conductivity, specific storage, diffusivity and porosity with high resolution. Particularly, porosity is a quantity that is rarely known but often of considerable practical importance, especially for the prediction of contaminant transport and the design of effective remediation systems. Our approach will be implemented in the field at the well-characterized test sites Niederneunforn/Altikon and Widen, both located in the Thur valley. More than 70 observation wells were installed and the test sites were characterized by different laboratory investigations, hydraulic testing, tracer testing, and detailed two- and three-dimensional geophysical surveys. For the installation of additional test and observation wells, we will exploit the ease of access to shallow unconsolidated formations provided by direct-push technology. Another goal of our study will be the combination of the hydraulic/tracer tomographic approach with geophysical tomographic surveys. Therefore, we will develop techniques for the derivation of site-specific relationships between the hydraulic/transport parameters and the geophysical parameters, allowing for the transformation of geophysical parameters into images of hydraulic/transport parameters. The combination of hydraulic/tracer tomographic and geophysical tomographic measurements has the potential to provide large-scale, high-resolution hydraulic and transport parameters.
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