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Analysis of thermal dilution experiments with Distributed Temperature Sensing for fractured rock characterization

Abstract : Thermal dilution experiments with Fiber-Optic Distributed Temperature Sensing (FO-DTS) were conducted at the In-situ Stimulation and Circulation (ISC) rock laboratory, at the Grimsel Test Site (GTS) in Switzerland. The experiment consists in replacing the total volume of a borehole with a warmer water and monitoring the rate of temperature increase and decrease during the heating and cooling periods, respectively. The changes in temperature monitored in depth and time under various hydraulic conditions and in different boreholes, are used to investigate the information provided by thermal dilution experiments in terms of groundwater flow and thermal properties in low-permeable fractured crystalline rock. The data analysis, and the use of analytical and numerical solutions for reproducing this data in the context of pure diffusion and advection-diffusion scenarios, lead to the following improvements and conclusions. (i) The formation thermal conductivity is estimated along the borehole by inverting the data collected under ambient conditions with a simple analytical solution. The estimated values are consistent with laboratory estimates. The method presents the advantage of requiring much shorter experiments than existing methods based on standard active-line-source (ALS) experiments, i.e., several hours versus the traditional 1-2 days. (ii) Hydraulically active fractures connecting boreholes are detected from experiments conducted under cross-borehole forced hydraulic conditions. (iii) The formation thermal conductivity and fracture flow velocity have a distinguished impact on the temperature anomalies for some ranges of these property values, implying that both properties can be estimated from well-parametrized experiments.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 9:18:34 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:44:08 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 6:07:56 PM

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Maria Klepikova, Bernard Brixel, Delphine Roubinet. Analysis of thermal dilution experiments with Distributed Temperature Sensing for fractured rock characterization. Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2022, 610, pp.127874. ⟨10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.127874⟩. ⟨insu-03658484⟩

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