Using borehole flow logging to optimize hydraulic-test procedures in heterogeneous fractured aquifers

Hydrogeology Journal



Hydraulic properties of heterogeneous fractured aquifers are difficult to characterize, and such characterization usually requires equipment-intensive and time-consuming applications of hydraulic testing in situ. Conventional coring and geophysical logging techniques provide useful and reliable information on the distribution of bedding planes, fractures and solution openings along boreholes, but it is often unclear how these locally permeable features are organized into larger-scale zones of hydraulic conductivity. New boreholes flow-logging equipment provides techniques designed to identify hydraulically active fractures intersecting boreholes, and to indicate how these fractures might be connected to larger-scale flow paths in the surrounding aquifer. Potential complications in interpreting flowmeter logs include: 1) Ambient hydraulic conditions that mask the detection of hydraulically active fractures; 2) Inability to maintain quasi-steady drawdowns during aquifer tests, which causes temporal variations in flow intensity to be confused with inflows during pumping; and 3) Effects of uncontrolled background variations in hydraulic head, which also complicate the interpretation of inflows during aquifer tests. Application of these techniques is illustrated by the analysis of cross-borehole flowmeter data from an array of four bedrock boreholes in granitic schist at the Mirror Lake, New Hampshire, research site. Only two days of field operations were required to unambiguously identify the few fractures or fracture zones that contribute most inflow to boreholes in the CO borehole array during pumping. Such information was critical in the interpretation of water-quality data. This information also permitted the setting of the available string of two packers in each borehole so as to return the aquifer as close to pre-drilling conditions as possible with the available equipment.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Using borehole flow logging to optimize hydraulic-test procedures in heterogeneous fractured aquifers
Series title Hydrogeology Journal
DOI 10.1007/s100400050249
Volume 3
Issue 3
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher Springer-Verlag
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 17 p.
First page 4
Last page 20
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