Integration of high-resolution geophysical data for the characterization of alluvial aquifers : new approaches and implications for hydrological predictions


Request a copy
Serval ID
PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Integration of high-resolution geophysical data for the characterization of alluvial aquifers : new approaches and implications for hydrological predictions
Dafflon B.
Holliger K.
Institution details
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnement
Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnement Université de Lausanne UNIL - Sorge Amphipôle - bureau 314 CH-1015 Lausanne SUISSE
Publication state
Issued date
Number of pages
REROID:R005342118 ill.
Accurate characterization of the spatial distribution of hydrological properties in heterogeneous aquifers at a range of scales is a key prerequisite for reliable modeling of subsurface contaminant transport, and is essential for designing effective and cost-efficient groundwater management and remediation strategies. To this end, high-resolution geophysical methods have shown significant potential to bridge a critical gap in subsurface resolution and coverage between traditional hydrological measurement techniques such as borehole log/core analyses and tracer or pumping tests. An important and still largely unresolved issue, however, is how to best quantitatively integrate geophysical data into a characterization study in order to estimate the spatial distribution of one or more pertinent hydrological parameters, thus improving hydrological predictions.
Recognizing the importance of this issue, the aim of the research presented in this thesis was to first develop a strategy for the assimilation of several types of hydrogeophysical data having varying degrees of resolution, subsurface coverage, and sensitivity to the hydrologic parameter of interest. In this regard a novel simulated annealing (SA)-based conditional simulation approach was developed and then tested in its ability to generate realizations of porosity given crosshole ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and neutron porosity log data. This was done successfully for both synthetic and field data sets. A subsequent issue that needed to be addressed involved assessing the potential benefits and implications of the resulting porosity realizations in terms of groundwater flow and contaminant transport. This was investigated synthetically assuming first that the relationship between porosity and hydraulic conductivity was well-defined. Then, the relationship was itself investigated in the context of a calibration procedure using hypothetical tracer test data. Essentially, the relationship best predicting the observed tracer test measurements was determined given the geophysically derived porosity structure. Both of these investigations showed that the SA-based approach, in general, allows much more reliable hydrological predictions than other more elementary techniques considered. Further, the developed calibration procedure was seen to be very effective, even at the scale of tomographic resolution, for predictions of transport. This also held true at locations within the aquifer where only geophysical data were available. This is significant because the acquisition of hydrological tracer test measurements is clearly more complicated and expensive than the acquisition of geophysical measurements.
Although the above methodologies were tested using porosity logs and GPR data, the findings are expected to remain valid for a large number of pertinent combinations of geophysical and borehole log data of comparable resolution and sensitivity to the hydrological target parameter. Moreover, the obtained results allow us to have confidence for future developments in integration methodologies for geophysical and hydrological data to improve the 3-D estimation of hydrological properties.
Create date
26/08/2010 9:57
Last modification date
20/08/2019 15:36
Usage data