Use of borehole radar tomography to monitor steam injection in fractured limestone

Near Surface Geophysics
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Borehole radar tomography was used as part of a pilot study to monitor steam‐enhanced remediation of a fractured limestone contaminated with volatile organic compounds at the former Loring Air Force Base, Maine, USA. Radar tomography data were collected using 100‐MHz electric‐dipole antennae before and during steam injection to evaluate whether cross‐hole radar methods could detect changes in medium properties resulting from the steam injection. Cross‐hole levelrun profiles, in which transmitting and receiving antennae are positioned at a common depth, were made before and after the collection of each full tomography data set to check the stability of the radar instruments. Before tomographic inversion, the levelrun profiles were used to calibrate the radar tomography data to compensate for changes in traveltime and antenna power caused by instrument drift. Observed changes in cross‐hole radar traveltime and attenuation before and during steam injection were small. Slowness‐ and attenuation‐difference tomograms indicate small increases in radar slowness and attenuation at depths greater than about 22 m below the surface, consistent with increases in water temperature observed in the boreholes used for the tomography. Based on theoretical modelling results, increases in slowness and attenuation are interpreted as delineating zones where steam injection heating increased the electrical conductivity of the limestone matrix and fluid. The results of this study show the potential of cross‐hole radar tomography methods to monitor the effects of steam‐induced heating in fractured rock environments.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Use of borehole radar tomography to monitor steam injection in fractured limestone
Series title Near Surface Geophysics
DOI 10.3997/1873-0604.2006009
Volume 4
Issue 6
Year Published 2006
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Office of Ground Water, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 11 p.
First page 355
Last page 365
Country United States
State Maine
Other Geospatial Former Loring Air Force Base
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