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Characterization of crystalline basement aquifers with MRS: comparison with boreholes and pumping tests data in Burkina Faso

Abstract : # In the Sahelian region of Burkina Faso (Western Africa), groundwater resources are scarce. The hydrogeological context is mainly crystalline basement aquifers that often present a challenge to hydrogeologists when investigating their exploration and management. A magnetic resonance sounding (MRS) survey was conducted to evaluate the ability of the method to answer the following main questions encountered by hydrogeologists in this hard-rock context: Where is the groundwater? # How deep and how thick are the water-bearing formations? # What are the reserves of groundwater? # What is the productivity of the aquifer? MRS measurements were implemented around recent boreholes drilled both in the weathered and in the fissured-fractured units of the reservoirs. In order to evaluate the MRS method, MRS results are compared with borehole and pumping test data. The depths and thicknesses of the saturated aquifers encountered by the boreholes are compared with those estimated by MRS. The T1decay-time constant of the magnetic resonance signal is used for calculating the storativity and transmissivity estimators from geophysical data. These MRS hydrogeological estimators are compared with the local transmissivity and storativity of the aquifer, estimated from pumping test results. The main conclusions of the comparison between the 13 MRS results and the borehole data are: # The depths and thicknesses of the saturated alterites are accurately described by the MRS results, and the mean differences with the borehole data are ±12% and ±17%, respectively. # The storativity estimated from MRS data is not reliable. The proposed estimators need to be confirmed with larger data sets, and further research needs to be conducted on this matter. # The transmissivity can be accurately estimated from MRS data after calibration with pumping test results. The mean difference between MRS and pumping test results is ±41%. # The main limiting factors of MRS applied in hard-rock areas are the 1D approximation in a highly heterogeneous context, the screen effect that causes deep weathered-fissured reservoirs to be poorly resolved when topped by shallow alterites reservoirs, and the suppression principle that causes deep narrow fractures to be undetectable.MRS is a useful tool to characterize the saturated alterites and the weathered-fissured zones of aquifers in a crystalline rock context. With knowledge of its limitations, its use within the framework of hydrogeological strategy is promising, both for borehole implementation and for groundwater reserve evaluation.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - 10:46:09 AM
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Jean-Michel Vouillamoz, Marc Descloitres, G. Toe, Anatoly Legchenko. Characterization of crystalline basement aquifers with MRS: comparison with boreholes and pumping tests data in Burkina Faso. Near Surface Geophysics, 2005, 3, pp.205 à 213. ⟨10.3997/1873-0604.2005015⟩. ⟨insu-00385396⟩



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