Estimating Travel Time in Bank Filtration Systems from a Numerical Model Based on DTS Measurements

Bas F. des Tombe*, Mark Bakker, Frans Schaars, Kees Jan van der Made

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
158 Downloads (Pure)


An approach is presented to determine the seasonal variations in travel time in a bank filtration system using a passive heat tracer test. The temperature in the aquifer varies seasonally because of temperature variations of the infiltrating surface water and at the soil surface. Temperature was measured with distributed temperature sensing along fiber optic cables that were inserted vertically into the aquifer with direct push equipment. The approach was applied to a bank filtration system consisting of a sequence of alternating, elongated recharge basins and rows of recovery wells. A SEAWAT model was developed to simulate coupled flow and heat transport. The model of a two-dimensional vertical cross section is able to simulate the temperature of the water at the well and the measured vertical temperature profiles reasonably well. MODPATH was used to compute flowpaths and the travel time distribution. At the study site, temporal variation of the pumping discharge was the dominant factor influencing the travel time distribution. For an equivalent system with a constant pumping rate, variations in the travel time distribution are caused by variations in the temperature-dependent viscosity. As a result, travel times increase in the winter, when a larger fraction of the water travels through the warmer, lower part of the aquifer, and decrease in the summer, when the upper part of the aquifer is warmer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-299
Number of pages12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


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