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See detailApplication of multi-scale variography for inferring the spatial variability of the hydraulic conductivity of a sandy aquifer
Rogiers, Bart; Vienken, Thomas; Gedeon, M et al

Poster (2014, April 28)

In the framework of the disposal of short-lived low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in a near-surface disposal facility in Dessel (Belgium), extensive characterization of the hydraulic ... [more ▼]

In the framework of the disposal of short-lived low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste in a near-surface disposal facility in Dessel (Belgium), extensive characterization of the hydraulic conductivity (K) in the shallow Neogene aquifer has been performed at a regional scale. In the last few years the small-scale heterogeneity has been additionally characterized by outcrop analogue, hydraulic direct push, and borehole core air permeameter studies. The gathered data now include a) more than 350 hydraulic conductivity measurements on samples from 8 cored boreholes, mostly reaching depths of 50 m and data at 2 m intervals, b) more than 5000 air permeability measurements on the same borehole cores, c) more than 250 cone penetration tests (CPTs) with depths down to 40 m and data at 2 cm intervals, d) over 100 dissipation tests performed during the CPT campaigns, e) 17 direct push injections loggings, 6 hydraulic profiling tool logs, and 6 direct push slug tests, f) several hundreds of air permeability measurements on outcrop analogues of the aquifer sediments, and g) numerous grain size analyses. The current study aims to quantify the heterogeneity of K from the centimetre- to the kilometre-scale and to check the compatibility of the spatial variability revealed by the different datasets. This is achieved through gathering all K values (either direct measurements, calibrated relative K values, or K estimates from secondary data), and the use of variography to quantify spatial variability in terms of two-points geostatistics. The results are discussed, and the main differences between the different data sources are explained. In a final step, different multi-scale variogram models are proposed for capturing the main characteristics of multi-scale variability within the shallow Neogene aquifer in Belgium. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of isotopic tracers as a tool for understanding hydrodynamic behavior of the highly exploited Diass aquifer system (Senegal)
Madioune, Diakher Hélène; Faye, Serigne; Orban, Philippe ULg et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2014), 511

The Diass horst aquifer system located 50 km east of Dakar (Senegal) is exploited in two main aquifers covered by a sandy superficial aquifer: the confined/unconfined Palaeocene karstic limestone and the ... [more ▼]

The Diass horst aquifer system located 50 km east of Dakar (Senegal) is exploited in two main aquifers covered by a sandy superficial aquifer: the confined/unconfined Palaeocene karstic limestone and the confined Maastrichtian sandstone aquifer underneath. This system has experienced intensive groundwater abstraction during the last 50 years to supply increasing water demand, agricultural and industrial needs. The high abstraction rate from 1989 to 2009 (about 109,000 m3/d) has caused a continuous groundwater level decline (up to 30 m), a modification of the groundwater flow and salinization in parts of the aquifers. The objective of the study is to improve our understanding of the system functioning with regards to high pumping, identify the geochemical reactions that take place in the system, infer origin and timing of recharge by using mainly stable (δ18O, δ2H, 13C) and radioactive (3H and 14C) isotopes. Water types defined in the Piper diagram vary in order of abundance from Ca–HCO3 (65%), Ca/Na–Cl (20%), Na–HCO3 (3%) and Na–Cl (12%). Values of δ18O and δ2H for the superficial aquifer range between −5.8 and −4.2‰ and between −42 and −31‰, respectively. For the Palaeocene aquifer they range from −5.8 to −5.0‰ and from −38 to −31‰, respectively; values in the Maastrichtian aquifer are between −5.9 and −4.3‰ for δ18O and −38 to −26‰ for δ2H. Plotted against the conventional δ18O vs δ2H diagram, data from the upper aquifer exhibit a dispersed distribution with respect to isotopic fractionation while those of the Palaeocene and Maastrichtian aquifers are aligned parallel and slightly below/or on the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL) evidencing ancient waters which had evaporated during infiltration. The low tritium (generally <0.7 TU) and 14C (0.7–57.2 pmc) contents indicate predominance of older water being recharged during the Pleistocene and Holocene periods. However, few boreholes which exhibit high tritium (1.2–4.3 TU) and 14C (65.7–70.8 pmc) values indicate some mixture with recent water likely through faulting and vertical drainage from the upper to deeper aquifers as well as lateral flow along flow paths to the piezometric depressions created by pumping. [less ▲]

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See detailSimulation of spatial and temporal trends in nitrate concentrations at the regional scale in the Upper Dyle basin, Belgium
César, Emilie; Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Orban, Philippe ULg et al

in Hydrogeology Journal (2014), 22

Models are the only tools capable of predicting the evolution of groundwater systems at a regional scale in taking into account a large amount of information. This study presents the association of a ... [more ▼]

Models are the only tools capable of predicting the evolution of groundwater systems at a regional scale in taking into account a large amount of information. This study presents the association of a water balance model (WetSpass) with a groundwater flow and solute transport model (SUFT3D, « Saturated and Unsaturated Flow and Transport in 3D ») in order to simulate the present and future groundwater quality in terms of nitrate in the Upper Dyle basin (439 km², Belgium). The HFEMC (« Hybrid Finite Element Mixing Cell ») method implemented in the SUFT3D code is used to model groundwater flow and nitrate transport. A spatially-distributed recharge modelled with WetSpass is considered for prescribing the recharge to the groundwater flow model. The feasibility of linking WetSpass model with the finite-elements SUFT3D code is demonstrated. Time evolution and distribution of nitrate concentration are then simulated using the calibrated model. Nitrate inputs are spatially-distributed according to land use. The spatial simulations and temporal trends are compared with previously published data on this aquifer and show good results. [less ▲]

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See detailCarte hydrogéologique, Hotton - Dochamps 55/5-6, 1/25.000 : [notice explicative]
Ruthy, Ingrid ULg; Wildemeersch, Samuel; Dassargues, Alain ULg

Book published by Service Public de Wallonie, DGARNE - Actualisation partielle: mai 2014 - Première version: septembre 2006 (2014)

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See detailCarte hydrogéologique de Wallonie, Hotton - Dochamps 55/5-6
Ruthy, Ingrid ULg; Wildemeersch, Samuel; Dassargues, Alain ULg

Cartographic material (2014)

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See detailCarte hydrogéologique de Wallonie, Louveigné-Spa; 49/3-4, 1/25.000 : [notice explicative]
Ruthy, Ingrid ULg; Dassargues, Alain ULg

Book published by Service Public de Wallonie, DGARNE - Actualisation partielle: mai 2014 - Première version: mars 2012 (2014)

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See detailCarte hydrogéologique de Wallonie, Louveigné-Spa, 49/3-4
Ruthy, Ingrid ULg; Dassargues, Alain ULg

Cartographic material (2014)

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See detailCarte hydrogéologique de Wallonie, Andenne-Couthuin 48/1-2, 1/25.000 : [notice explicative]
Goffinet, Florence; Ruthy, Ingrid ULg; César, Emilie et al

Book published by Service Public de Wallonie, DGARNE - Actualisation partielle: janvier 2014 - Première version: juin 2010 (2014)

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See detailCarte hydrogéologique de Wallonie, Andenne - Couthuin 48/1-2
Goffinet, Florence; Ruthy, Ingrid ULg; César, Emilie et al

Cartographic material (2014)

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See detailCoupling heat and chemical tracer experiments for estimating heat transfer parameters in shallow alluvial aquifers
Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Jamin, Pierre ULg; Orban, Philippe ULg et al

in Journal of Contaminant Hydrology (2014), 169

Geothermal energy systems, closed or open, are increasingly considered for heating and/or cooling buildings. The efficiency of such systems depends on the thermal properties of the subsurface. Therefore ... [more ▼]

Geothermal energy systems, closed or open, are increasingly considered for heating and/or cooling buildings. The efficiency of such systems depends on the thermal properties of the subsurface. Therefore, feasibility and impact studies performed prior to their installation should include a field characterization of thermal properties and a heat transfer model using parameter values measured in situ. However, there is a lack of in situ experiments and methodology for performing such a field characterization, especially for open systems. This study presents an in situ experiment designed for estimating heat transfer parameters in shallow alluvial aquifers with focus on the specific heat capacity. This experiment consists in simultaneously injecting hot water and a chemical tracer into the aquifer and monitoring the evolution of groundwater temperature and concentration in the recovery well (and possibly in other piezometers located down gradient). Temperature and concentrations are then used for estimating the specific heat capacity. The first method for estimating this parameter is based on a modeling in series of the chemical tracer and temperature breakthrough curves at the recovery well. The second method is based on an energy balance. The values of specific heat capacity estimated for both methods (2.30 and 2.54 MJ/m3/K) for the experimental site in the alluvial aquifer of the Meuse River (Belgium) are almost identical and consistent with values found in the literature. Temperature breakthrough curves in other piezometers are not required for estimating the specific heat capacity. However, they highlight that heat transfer in the alluvial aquifer of the Meuse River is complex and contrasted with different dominant process depending on the depth leading to significant vertical heat exchange between upper and lower part of the aquifer. Furthermore, these temperature breakthrough curves could be included in the calibration of a complex heat transfer model for estimating the entire set of heat transfer parameters and their spatial distribution by inverse modeling. [less ▲]

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See detailCarte hydrogéologique de Wallonie, Fleurus-Spy 47/1-2
Ruthy, Ingrid ULg; Dassargues, Alain ULg

Cartographic material (2014)

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See detailCarte hydrogéologique de Wallonie, Fleurus-Spy 47/1-2, 1/25.000 : [notice explicative]
Ruthy, Ingrid ULg; Dassargues, Alain ULg

Book published by Service Public de Wallonie, DGARNE - Actualisation partielle: aout 2013 - Première version:mai 2002 (2014)

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See detailAssessing the effects of spatial discretization on large-scale flow model performance and prediction uncertainty
Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Goderniaux, Pascal; Orban, Philippe ULg et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2014), 510

Large-scale physically-based and spatially-distributed models (>100 km2) constitute useful tools for water management since they take explicitly into account the heterogeneity and the physical processes ... [more ▼]

Large-scale physically-based and spatially-distributed models (>100 km2) constitute useful tools for water management since they take explicitly into account the heterogeneity and the physical processes occurring in the subsurface for predicting the evolution of discharge and hydraulic heads for several predictive scenarios. However, such models are characterized by lengthy execution times. Therefore, modelers often coarsen spatial discretization of large-scale physically-based and spatially-distributed models for reducing the number of unknowns and the execution times. This study investigates the influence of such a coarsening of model grid on model performance and prediction uncertainty. The improvement of model performance obtained with an automatic calibration process is also investigated. The results obtained show that coarsening spatial discretization mainly influences the simulation of discharge due to a poor representation of surface water network and a smoothing of surface slopes that prevents from simulating properly surface water-groundwater interactions and runoff processes. Parameter sensitivities are not significantly influenced by grid coarsening and calibration can compensate, to some extent, for model errors induced by grid coarsening. The results also show that coarsening spatial discretization mainly influences the uncertainty on discharge predictions. However, model prediction uncertainties on discharge only increase significantly for very coarse spatial discretizations. [less ▲]

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See detailHeat transfer characterization using heat and solute tracer tests in a shallow alluvial aquifer
Dassargues, Alain ULg; Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Jamin, Pierre ULg et al

Poster (2013, December 09)

Very low enthalpy geothermal systems are increasingly considered for heating or cooling using groundwater energy combined with heat pumps. The design and the impact of shallow geothermal systems are often ... [more ▼]

Very low enthalpy geothermal systems are increasingly considered for heating or cooling using groundwater energy combined with heat pumps. The design and the impact of shallow geothermal systems are often assessed in a semi-empirical way. It is accepted by most of the private partners but not by environmental authorities deploring a lack of rigorous evaluation of the mid- to long-term impact on groundwater. In view of a more rigorous methodology, heat and dye tracers are used for estimating simultaneously heat transfer and solute transport parameters in an alluvial aquifer. The experimental field site, is equipped with 21 piezometers drilled in alluvial deposits composed of a loam layer overlying a sand and gravel layer constituting the alluvial aquifer. The tracing experiment consisted in injecting simultaneously heated water and a dye tracer in a piezometer and monitoring evolution of groundwater temperature and tracer concentration in 3 control panels set perpendicularly to the main groundwater flow. Results showed drastic differences between heat transfer and solute transport due to the main influence of thermal capacity of the saturated porous medium. The tracing experiment was then simulated using a numerical model and the best estimation of heat transfer and solute transport parameters is obtained by calibrating this numerical model using inversion tools. The developed concepts and tests may lead to real projects of various extents that can be now optimized by the use of a rigorous and efficient methodology at the field scale. [less ▲]

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See detailThe usefulness of outcrop-analogue air-permeameter measurements for analysing aquifer heterogeneity: testing outcrop hydrogeological parameters with independent borehole data
Rogiers, Bart; Beerten, Koen; Smeekens, Tom et al

in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (2013), 17

Outcropping sediments can be used as easily accessible analogues for studying subsurface sediments, especially to determine the small-scale spatial variability of hydrogeological parameters. The use of ... [more ▼]

Outcropping sediments can be used as easily accessible analogues for studying subsurface sediments, especially to determine the small-scale spatial variability of hydrogeological parameters. The use of cost-effective in situvmeasurement techniques potentially makes the study of outcrop sediments even more attractive. We investigate to what degree air-permeameter measurements on outcrops of unconsolidated sediments can be a proxy for aquifer saturated hydraulic conductivity (K) heterogeneity. The Neogene aquifer in northern Belgium, known as a major groundwater resource, is used as the case study. K and grain-size data obtained from different outcropping sediments are compared with K and grain-size data from aquifer sediments obtained either via laboratory analyses on undisturbed borehole cores (K and grain size) or via large-scale pumping tests (K only). This comparison shows a pronounced and systematic difference between outcrop and aquifer sediments. Part of this difference is attributed to grain-size variations and earth surface processes specific to outcrop environments, including root growth, bioturbation, and weathering. Moreover, palaeoenvironmental conditions such as freezing–drying cycles and differential compaction histories will further alter the initial hydrogeological properties of the outcrop sediments. A linear correction is developed for rescaling the outcrop data to the subsurface data. The spatial structure pertaining to outcrops complements that obtained from the borehole cores in several cases. The higher spatial resolution of the outcrop measurements identifies small-scale spatial structures that remain undetected in the lower resolution borehole data. Insights in stratigraphic and K heterogeneity obtained from outcrop sediments improve developing conceptual models of groundwater flow and transport. [less ▲]

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