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Characterizing fractured rock aquifers using heated Distributed Fiber-Optic Temperature Sensing to determine borehole vertical flow

Abstract : In highly heterogeneous media, fracture network connectivity and hydraulic properties can be estimated using methods such as packer- or cross-borehole pumping-tests. Typically, measurements of hydraulic head or vertical flow in such tests are made either at a single location over time, or at a series of depths by installing a number of packers or raising or lowering a probe. We show how this often encountered monitoring problem, with current solutions sacrificing either one of temporal or spatial information, can be addressed using Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS). Here, we electrically heat the conductive cladding materials of cables deployed in boreholes to determine the vertical flow profile. We present results from heated fiber optic cables deployed in three boreholes in a fractured rock aquifer at the much studied experimental site near Ploemeur, France, allowing detailed comparisons with alternative methods (e.g. Le Borgne et al., 2007). When submerged in water and electrically heated, the cable very rapidly reaches a steady state temperature (less than 60 seconds). The steady state temperature of the heated cable, measured using the DTS method, is then a function of the velocity of the fluid in the borehole. We find that such cables are sensitive to a wide range of fluid velocities, and thus suitable for measuring both ambient and pumped flow profiles at the Ploemeur site. The cables are then used to monitor the flow profiles during all possible configurations of: ambient flow, cross-borehole- (pumping one borehole, and observing in another), and dipole-tests (pumping one borehole, re-injection in another). Such flow data acquired using DTS may then be used for tomographic flow inversions, for instance using the approach developed by Klepikova et al., (submitted). Using the heated fiber optic method, we are able to observe the flow response during such tests in high spatial detail, and are also able to capture temporal flow dynamics occurring at the start of both the pumping and recovery phase of cross-borehole- and dipole- tests. In addition, the clear advantage of this is that by deploying a single fiber optic cable in multiple boreholes at a site, the flow profiles in all boreholes can be simultaneously measured, allowing many different pumping experiments to be conducted and monitored in a time efficient manner.
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Conference papers
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 5, 2014 - 8:51:25 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 5, 2019 - 8:22:48 PM


  • HAL Id : insu-01061032, version 1


T. Read, Olivier Bour, J. S. Selker, Tanguy Le Borgne, V. Bense, et al.. Characterizing fractured rock aquifers using heated Distributed Fiber-Optic Temperature Sensing to determine borehole vertical flow. AGU Fall Meeting 2013, Dec 2013, San francisco, United States. pp.H21O-05. ⟨insu-01061032⟩



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