Estimation of the Variation in Specific Discharge Over Large Depth Using Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS) Measurements of the Heat Pulse Response

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
187 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

An approach is presented to determine groundwater flow in unconsolidated aquifers with a heat pulse response test using a heating cable and a fiber-optic cable. The cables are installed together using direct push so that the cables are in direct contact with the aquifer. The temperature response is measured for multiple days along the fiber-optic cable with Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS). The new approach fits a two-dimensional analytical solution to the temperature measurements, so that the specific discharge can be estimated without knowledge of the position of the fiber-optic cable relative to the heating cable. Two case studies are presented. The first case study is at a managed aquifer recharge system where fiber-optic cables are inserted 15 m deep at various locations to test the fitting procedure. Similar and relatively large specific discharges are found at the different locations with little vertical variation (0.4–0.6 m/day). The second case study is at a polder, where the water level is maintained 2 m below the surrounding lakes, resulting in significant groundwater flow. The heating and fiber-optic cables are inserted to a depth of 45 m. The specific discharge varies 0.07–0.1 m/day and is significantly larger in a thin layer at 30-m depth. It is shown with numerical experiments that the estimated specific discharge is smoother than in reality due to vertical conduction, but the peak specific discharge is estimated correctly for layers thicker than ∼1.5 m.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-826
Number of pages16
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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