References of "Nguyen, Frédéric"
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See detailUncertainty in training image-based inversion of hydraulic head data constrained to ERT data: workflow and case study
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg; Caers, Jef

in Water Resources Research (in press)

In inverse problems, investigating uncertainty in the posterior distribution of model parameters is as important as matching data. In recent years, most efforts have focused on techniques to sample the ... [more ▼]

In inverse problems, investigating uncertainty in the posterior distribution of model parameters is as important as matching data. In recent years, most efforts have focused on techniques to sample the posterior distribution with reasonable computational costs. Within a Bayesian context, this posterior depends on the prior distribution. However, most of the studies ignore modeling the prior with realistic geological uncertainty. In this paper, we propose a workflow inspired by a Popper-Bayes philosophy, that data should first be used to falsify models, then only be considered for matching. We propose a workflow consisting of three steps: (1) in defining the prior, we interpret multiple alternative geological scenarios from literature (architecture of facies) and site specific data (proportions of facies). Prior spatial uncertainty is modeled using multiple-point geostatistics, where each scenario is defined using a training image. (2) We validate these prior geological scenarios by simulating electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data on realizations of each scenario and comparing them to field ERT in a lower dimensional space. In this second step, the idea is to probabilistically falsify scenarios with ERT, meaning that scenarios which are incompatible receive an updated probability of zero while compatible scenarios receive a non-zero updated belief. (3) We constrain the hydrogeological model with hydraulic head and ERT using a stochastic search method. The workflow is applied to a synthetic and a field case studies in an alluvial aquifer. This study highlights the importance of considering and estimate prior uncertainty (without data) through a process of probabilistic falsification. [less ▲]

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See detailThe use of the Vadose Zone Experimental Setup as an innovative in situ characterization method for the vadose zone: a case study at an industrial contaminated site in Belgium
Fernandez de Vera, Natalia ULg; Beaujean, Jean ULg; Jamin, Pierre ULg et al

Conference (2015, September)

The development of protection and remediation plans for contaminated soil and groundwater require a detailed understanding of the transport of pollutants in the subsurface. However, such understanding is ... [more ▼]

The development of protection and remediation plans for contaminated soil and groundwater require a detailed understanding of the transport of pollutants in the subsurface. However, such understanding is affected by the lack of spatial and temporal coverage provided by the current in situ characterization technologies. A new system has been developed in order to overcome such limitations. The vadose zone experimental setup is a new development combining cross-hole geophysics and the Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VMS). In cross-hole geophysics, an injection of an electrical current using electrodes installed in vertical boreholes is triggered. From measured potential differences, spatial patterns related with subsurface heterogeneities, water content and solute concentrations are inferred. The VMS allows continuous measurements of water content at different depths of the vadose zone, as well as water sampling. The system is formed by a flexible sleeve containing monitoring units along its depth which is installed in a slanted borehole. The system was installed at a former industrial site in Belgium, where soil and groundwater are contaminated with BTEX, PAH, and heavy metals. Two VMS were installed in two slanted boreholes on site, together with four vertical boreholes containing electrodes for geophysical measurements. The site was initially monitored under natural recharge conditions. Water content sensors located along the VMS registered fast wetting and draining reactions to rainfall events followed by the activation of water transport through fractures. Results from soil water samples show continuous evolution of water chemistry with depth, due to disequilibrium between infiltrated water and the hydrochemical conditions in the unsaturated zone. Subsequently, a saline tracer was injected in the surface. The transport of the tracer in the subsurface was monitored via cross-hole and surface geophysics. Results from imaging reflect the evolution of a plume through vertical and lateral transport and dilution. [less ▲]

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See detailERT to monitor the bioremediation of hydrocarbons with Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 at a pilot scale
Masy, Thibaut ULg; Caterina, David; Tromme, Olivier et al

Conference (2015, June 30)

Petroleum hydrocarbons (HC) represent the most widespread contaminants in the world and in-situ bioremediation remains a competitive treatment in terms of cost and environmental concerns. However, the ... [more ▼]

Petroleum hydrocarbons (HC) represent the most widespread contaminants in the world and in-situ bioremediation remains a competitive treatment in terms of cost and environmental concerns. However, the efficiency of such a technique (by biostimulation or bioaugmentation) strongly depends on numerous environmental characteristics (heterogeneities of the subsurface structure, soil moisture, oxygen and pollutants bioavailability, microbial niches…) and is still difficult to predict a priori. In order to lower these uncertainties, Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) appears as a valuable non-invasive tool to detect soil heterogeneities and to monitor biodegradation. The main objective of this study was thus to isolate with ERT an electrical signature corresponding to an enhanced biodegrading activity, in an aged HC-contaminated clay loam soil. To achieve it, a pilot tank with metric dimensions (3.6 × 0.9 × 0.6 m) and a recirculating system (which is quite unique for this type of purpose) was built to mimic field conditions and to control the evolution of the bio-physico-chemical parameters (microbial concentration in soil and groundwater, temperature, pH, pO2, redox potential, bulk and fluid conductivities, water flow, hydrocarbon content) through time and space. Five panels of electrodes were placed at different locations in the tank to detect lithological heterogeneities and to monitor the bulk resistivity variations with time-lapse ERT. Compared to a first insufficient biostimulation phase with H2O2 and KNO3, bioaugmentation with Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 led to a HC depletion of almost 80% (6900 to 1600 ppm) in 3 months in the center of the contaminated clay, where pollutants were less bioavailable. Furthermore, lithological heterogeneities (clay, sand, gravels) and microbial activities (growth, degradation and biosurfactant production) were successfully discriminated by ERT images obtained during both remediation phases. In the future, this cost-effective technique should be transferred to the field in order to either (i) detect and forecast biodegradation processes before choosing an appropriate remediation technique, or (ii) monitor the efficiency of this biodegradation during an in-situ bioremediation. [less ▲]

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See detailUse and utility of combined solute and heat tracer tests for characterizing hydrogeothermal properties of an alluvial aquifer
Klepikova, Maria; Wildemeersch, Samuel; Jamin, Pierre ULg et al

Conference (2015, June 05)

Using heat as a tracer together with a solute tracer is interesting for characterizing hydrogeothermal properties of the underground. These properties are particularly needed to dimension any low ... [more ▼]

Using heat as a tracer together with a solute tracer is interesting for characterizing hydrogeothermal properties of the underground. These properties are particularly needed to dimension any low temperature geothermal project using an open doublet system (pumping-reinjection) in a shallow aquifer. The tracing experiment, conducted in the alluvial aquifer of the River Meuse (Hermalle near Liège), consisted in injecting simultaneously heated water at 40°C and a dye tracer in a piezometer and monitoring the evolution of temperature and tracer concentration in the recovery well and in nine monitoring piezometers located in three transects with regards to the main groundwater flow direction. The breakthrough curves measured in the recovery well showed that heat transfer in the alluvial aquifer is slower. All measured results show also that the heat diffusivity is larger than the solute dispersion. These contrasted behaviours are stressed in the lower permeability zones of the aquifer. Inverse modelling is applied for calibrating the numerical simulation of the groundwater flow, heat and solute transport. First results are presented showing that the density effect must be taken into account and that, as expected, the most important parameter to be calibrated accurately is the hydraulic conductivity. [less ▲]

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See detailUncertainty in Training-Image Based Inversion of Hydraulic Head Data Constrained to ERT Data : Workflow and Case Study
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg; Caers, Jef

Scientific conference (2015, May 06)

In inverse problems, investigating the relationship between data and prior models and the uncertainty related to the posterior distribution of model parameters are as important as matching the data. In ... [more ▼]

In inverse problems, investigating the relationship between data and prior models and the uncertainty related to the posterior distribution of model parameters are as important as matching the data. In recent years, many efforts have been done to assess the posterior distribution of a given problem with reasonable computational costs through inversion techniques such as McMC. The derived posterior distribution is always dependent on the prior distribution. However, most of the studies ignore modeling the prior with realistic uncertainty. In this paper, we propose a workflow to assess the uncertainty of inversion of hydraulic heads data through the addition of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) constraining data. The workflow is divided in three successive steps: 1) Construction of prior: we generate multiple alternative geological scenarios from literature data (architecture of facies) as well as site specific data (proportions of facies). Spatial uncertainty within each scenario is integrated hierarchically through geostatistics (multiple-point statistics simulation of facies constrained by ERT data as soft data). 2) Validation of prior scenarios: we transform prior facies scenarios into resistivity distribution scenarios through forward and inverse modeling. The scenarios are validated by comparison with field ERT data. The comparison is made through distance calculation and projection into a low dimensional space to calculate the probability of each scenario given field ERT data. 3) Matching dynamical data: we use the probability perturbation method, within each scenario, to integrate hydraulic heads to our models. We account for scenario probabilities, calculated in 2, in determining how many models per scenario we have to consider for building a reliable posterior distribution. The method is first applied on synthetic cases where the "true" model is known. Then, it is apllied a field case study in an alluvial aquifer (Belgium) where we consider prior uncertainty related to the type of elements (gravel channels or bars) and to their size. This study shows the importance of considering the uncertainty of the prior in inverse problems as it has a strong influence on model predictions and decision-making problems. [less ▲]

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See detailFractured bedrock investigation by using high-resolution borehole images and the Distributed Temperature Sensing technique
Radioti, Georgia ULg; Delvoie, Simon ULg; Radu, Jean-Pol ULg et al

in ISRM Congress 2015 Proceedings - Int’l Symposium on Rock Mechanics (2015, May)

In order to investigate the fracturing of the bedrock and its possible heterogeneous distribution in situ, four boreholes equipped with double-U geothermal pipes of 100 m long were installed on the campus ... [more ▼]

In order to investigate the fracturing of the bedrock and its possible heterogeneous distribution in situ, four boreholes equipped with double-U geothermal pipes of 100 m long were installed on the campus of the University of Liege (Liege, Belgium) over a surface area of 32 m². The bedrock, which starts at a depth approximately of 8 m, is quite fractured and consists mainly of siltstone and shale interbedded with sandstone. Different geophysical methods are applied at two different phases, after drilling the boreholes and after injecting the grouting material. The first approach consists in lowering an ultrasonic borehole imager (borehole televiewer; Zemanek, Glenn, Norton, & Caldwell, 1970), an instrument that acts as an ultrasonic transducer and receiver, into the boreholes to obtain high-resolution, continuous images with 360° coverage of the local geology and fracturing. Moreover gamma-ray logs of the four boreholes are obtained and inclinometry is conducted. After drilling the boreholes fiber optic cables are attached along the pipe loops and the double-U pipes are installed inside the boreholes. Then the grouting material is injected. The second approach consists in measuring the temperature along the fibers by applying the Distributed Temperature Sensing technique (Soto, Sahu, Faralli, Bolognini, Di Pasquale, Nebendahl, & Rueck, 2007). A laser pulse is injected into the optical fiber and the temperature along the fiber is determined by the intensity of Raman stokes and anti-stokes reemitted signals. Temperature evolution is measured during hardening of the grouting material. Local maxima of the temperature curve are probably due to a local lower thermal conductivity and/or a local larger quantity of grouting material due to gathering of fractures. A detailed fracture characterisation (position, opening, orientation, dip angle) is obtained based on the acoustic signal travel time and amplitude. The fractures are characterised by the same dipping and orientation but significantly vary in number and location in the four boreholes, despite the close distance between them. Gamma-ray data and observation of the cuttings during drilling result in rock identification through depth as well as in determination of the layer dipping. The inclination of the four boreholes tends to be perpendicular to the dipping. The combination of the two geophysical methods as presented provides information useful for the hydro-thermo-mechanical behaviour of the bedrock. The contribution of the thermal behaviour of borehole heat exchangers to bedrock investigation will be further studied by conducting Distributed Thermal Response tests (Fujii, Okubo, & Itoi, 2006). During the tests we will measure the temperature variation thanks to the installed fiber optics. These data will allow us to correlate any anisotropic thermal behaviour to the geological characteristics. The available information could be used for a detailed numerical model. [less ▲]

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See detailExperimental design to monitor the influence of crop residue management on the dynamics of soil water content
Chelin, Marie ULg; Parvin, Nargish ULg; Hiel, Marie-Pierre ULg et al

Poster (2015, April 15)

Choices related to crop residue management affecting soil structure determine spatio-temporal dynamics of water content and eventually crop yields. In this contribution, we discuss the experimental design ... [more ▼]

Choices related to crop residue management affecting soil structure determine spatio-temporal dynamics of water content and eventually crop yields. In this contribution, we discuss the experimental design we adopted to study the influence of three different agricultural management strategies (tillage and residue management) on the soil water dynamics under maize in a Cutanic Siltic Luvisol in Gembloux, Belgium. In order to limit soil disturbance, we opted for the use electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and we use the bulk electrical conductivity as a proxy for soil moisture content. ERT is collected every week on a surface of two square meters corresponding to three rows of seven maize plants through surface stainless steel electrodes. Four additional sticks with stainless steel electrodes will be vertically inserted into the soil up to 1.20 m to get more detailed information near to the central maize row. In each of the monitoring plots, two time-domain reflectometry (TDR) probes will be installed for data validation. In order to calibrate the relationship between electrical resistivity and soil water content under highly variable field conditions (changes in soil structure, variable weather conditions, plant growth, fertilization), a trench will be dug, in which a set of four electrodes, one TDR probe and one temperature sensor will be placed at four different depths. In addition, two suction cups will be installed in each of the plots to quantify changes in ion composition and electrical conductivity of the soil solution at two different depths. Within the framework of the multidisciplinary research platform AgricultureIsLife, regular assessment of pore structure and crop developement will be conducted using X-ray images. Combining this wide range of data, we will be able to investigate and quantify the effect of simultaneously changing pore water conductivity, soil porosity, soil temperature and soil moisture on the effectiveness of time-lapse ER measurements as a proxy for soil moisture changes. [less ▲]

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See detailRegularized focusing inversion of time-lapse electrical resistivity data: an approach to parametrize the minimum gradient support functional
Nguyen, Frédéric ULg; Hermans, Thomas ULg

Poster (2015, April 15)

Inversion of time-lapse resistivity data allows obtaining ‘snapshots’ of changes occurring in monitored systems for applications such as aquifer storage, geothermal heat exchange, site remediation or ... [more ▼]

Inversion of time-lapse resistivity data allows obtaining ‘snapshots’ of changes occurring in monitored systems for applications such as aquifer storage, geothermal heat exchange, site remediation or tracer tests. Based on these snapshots, one can infer qualitative information on the location and morphology of changes occurring in the subsurface but also quantitative estimates on the degree of changes in certain property such as temperature or total dissolved solid content. Analysis of these changes can provide direct insight into flow and transport and associated processes and controlling parameters. However, the reliability of the analysis is dependent on survey geometry, measurement schemes, data error, and regularization. Survey design parameters may be optimized prior to the monitoring survey. Regularization, on the other hand, may be chosen depending on available information collected during the monitoring. Common approaches consider smoothing model changes both in space and time but it is often needed to obtain a sharp temporal anomaly, for example in fractured aquifers. We here propose to use the alternative regularization approach based on minimum gradient support (MGS) (Zhdanov, 2002) for time-lapse surveys which will focus the changes in tomograms snapshots. MGS will limit the occurrences of changes in electrical resistivity but will also restrict the variations of these changes inside the different zones. A common difficulty encountered by practitioners in this type of regularization is the choice of an additional parameter, the so-called , required to define the MGS functional. To the best of our knowledge, there is no commonly accepted or standard methodology to optimize the MGS parameter . The inversion algorithm used in this study is CRTomo (Kemna 2000). It uses a Gauss-Newton scheme to iteratively minimize an objective function which consists of a data misfit functional and a model constraint functional. A univariate line search is performed at each Gauss-Newton iteration step to find the optimum value of the regularization parameter  which minimizes the data misfit as a function of  while the data misfit is above the desired value and yields the desired target misfit (root-mean square value of error-weighted data misfit equal to 1) at the last iteration for a maximum value of . We propose here to optimize the  of the MGS functional by considering a univariate line search at the first iteration to find the  that minimizes the data misfit. The parameter is then kept constant during the Gauss-Newton iterative scheme. In this contribution, we validate our approach on a numerical benchmark and apply it successfully on a case study in the context of salt tracers in fractured aquifers. Zhdanov M.S. 2002. Geophysical Inverse Theory and Regularization Problems. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 628 p. Kemna A. 2000. Tomographic Inversion of Complex Resistivity - Theory and Application. PhD Thesis, Ruhr University Bochum. [less ▲]

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See detailVariogram-based inversion of time-lapse electrical resistivity data: development and application to a thermal tracing experiment
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg

Poster (2015, April 15)

Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has become a popular imaging methodology in a broad range of applications given its large sensitivity to subsurface parameters and its relative simplicity to ... [more ▼]

Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has become a popular imaging methodology in a broad range of applications given its large sensitivity to subsurface parameters and its relative simplicity to implement. More particularly, time-lapse ERT is now increasingly used for monitoring purposes in many contexts such as water content, permafrost, landslide, seawater intrusion, solute transport or heat transport experiments. Specific inversion schemes have been developed for time-lapse data sets. However, in contrast with static inversions for which many techniques including geostatistical, minimum support or structural inversion are commonly applied, most of the methodologies for time-lapse inversion still rely on non-physically based spatial and/or temporal smoothing of the parameters or parameter changes. In this work, we propose a time-lapse ERT inversion scheme based on the difference inversion scheme. We replace the standard smoothness-constraint regularization operator by the parameter change covariance matrix. This operator takes into account the correlation between changes in resistivity at different locations through a variogram computed using independent data (e.g., electromagnetic logs). It may vary for subsequent time-steps if the correlation length is time-dependent. The methodology is first validated and compared to the standard smoothness-constraint inversion using a synthetic benchmark simulating the injection of a conductive tracer into a homogeneous aquifer inducing changes in resistivity values of known correlation length. We analyze the influence of the assumed correlation length on inversion results. Globally, the method yields better results than the traditional smoothness constraint inversion. Even if a wrong correlation length is assumed, the method performs as well as the smoothness constraint since the regularization operator balances the weight given to the model constraint functional in the objective function. Then the methodology is successfully applied to a heat injection and pumping experiment in an alluvial aquifer. The comparison with direct measurements in boreholes (temperature loggers and distributed temperature sensing optic fibres) shows that ERT-derived temperatures and breakthrough curves image reliably the heat plume through time (increasing part of the curve, maximum and tail are correctly retrieved) and space (lateral variations of temperature are observed) with less spatial smoothing than standard methods. The development of new regularization operators for time-lapse inversion of ERT data is necessary given the broad range of applications where ERT monitoring is used. In many studies, independent data are available to derive geostatistical parameters that can be subsequently used to regularize geophysical inversions. In the future, the integration of spatio-temporal variograms into existing 4D inversion schemes should further improve ERT time-lapse imaging. [less ▲]

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See detailGeophysical investigation of the Hockai Fault Zone, Eastern Belgium
Havenith, Hans-Balder ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg; Halleux, Lucien ULg et al

in EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (2015)

In the frame of a regional project evaluating the geothermal potential of the Wallonian Region of Belgium, the Hockai Fault Zone has been identified as one of the most interesting targets. It is a ... [more ▼]

In the frame of a regional project evaluating the geothermal potential of the Wallonian Region of Belgium, the Hockai Fault Zone has been identified as one of the most interesting targets. It is a seismically active fault zone that hosted the largest historical earthquake in Northwestern Europe, the M6-6.5 Verviers event in 1692 as well as a swarm of small earthquakes that was recorded in 1989-90. On the surface, the presence of the fault zones is marked by a series of geomorphic features, such as several landslides near the borders in the northern part, repeated NW-SE oriented scarps all along the Eastern border (over a distance of 40 km), river diversions and captures with formation of paleo-valleys.... [less ▲]

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See detailQuantitative temperature monitoring of a heat tracing experiment using cross-borehole ERT
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Jamin, Pierre ULg et al

in Geothermics (2015), 53

The growing demand for renewable energy leads to an increase in the development of geothermal energy projects and heat has become a common tracer in hydrology and hydrogeology. Designing geothermal ... [more ▼]

The growing demand for renewable energy leads to an increase in the development of geothermal energy projects and heat has become a common tracer in hydrology and hydrogeology. Designing geothermal systems requires a multidisciplinary approach including geological and hydrogeological aspects. In this context, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) can bring relevant, qualitative and quantitative information on the temperature distribution in operating shallow geothermal systems or during heat tracing experiments. We followed a heat tracing experiment in an alluvial aquifer using cross-borehole time-lapse ERT. Heated water was injected in a well while water of the aquifer was extracted at another well. An ERT section was set up across the main flow direction. The results of ERT were transformed into temperature using calibrated petrophysical relationships. These ERT-derived temperatures were then compared to direct temperature measurements in control piezometers collected with distributed temperature sensing (DTS) and groundwater temperature loggers. Spatially, it enabled to map the horizontal and vertical extent of the heated water plume, as well as the zones where maximum temperatures occurred. Quantitatively, the temperatures and breakthrough curves estimated from ERT were in good agreement with the ones observed directly during the rise and maximum of the curve. An overestimation, likely related to 3D effects, was observed for the tail of the heat breakthrough curve. The error made on temperature can be estimated to be between 10 to 20 %, which is a fair value for indirect measurements. From our data, we estimated a quantification threshold for temperature variation of 1.2°C. These results suggest that ERT should be considered when designing heat tracing experiments or geothermal systems. It could help also to assess the geometrical complexity of the concerned reservoirs. It also appears that ERT could be a useful tool to monitor and control geothermal systems once they are in operation. [less ▲]

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See detailUncertainty in Training-Image Based Inversion of Hydraulic Head Data Constrained to ERT Data: Workflow and Case Study
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg; Caers, Jef

Conference (2014, December 18)

In inverse problems, investigating the relationship between data and prior models and the uncertainty related to the posterior distribution of model parameters are as important as matching the data. In ... [more ▼]

In inverse problems, investigating the relationship between data and prior models and the uncertainty related to the posterior distribution of model parameters are as important as matching the data. In recent years, many efforts have been done to assess the posterior distribution of a given problem with reasonable computational costs through inversion techniques such as McMC. The derived posterior distribution is always dependent on the prior distribution. However, most of the studies ignore modeling the prior with realistic uncertainty. In this paper, we propose a workflow to assess the uncertainty of inversion of hydraulic heads data through the addition of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) constraining data. The workflow is divided in three successive steps: 1) Construction of prior: we generate multiple alternative geological scenarios from literature data (architecture of facies) as well as site specific data (proportions of facies). Spatial uncertainty within each scenario is integrated hierarchically through geostatistics (multiple-point statistics simulation of facies constrained by ERT data as soft data). 2) Validation of prior scenarios: we transform prior facies scenarios into resistivity distribution scenarios through forward and inverse modeling. The scenarios are validated by comparison with field ERT data. The comparison is made through distance calculation and projection into a low dimensional space to calculate the probability of each scenario given field ERT data. 3) Matching dynamical data: we use the probability perturbation method, within each scenario, to integrate hydraulic heads to our models. We account for scenario probabilities, calculated in 2, in determining how many models per scenario we have to consider for building a reliable posterior distribution. As an illustration, the method is applied on a field case study in an alluvial aquifer (Belgium) where we consider prior uncertainty related to the type of elements (gravel channels or bars) and to their size. This study shows the importance of considering the uncertainty of the prior in inverse problems as it has a strong influence on model predictions and decision-making problems. [less ▲]

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See detailProspection géophysique de la zone faillée de Hockai dans la région de Malmedy: Rapport des tomographies de résistivité électrique
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg

Report (2014)

Ce rapport consiste en la présentation des résultats des prospections géophysiques par tomographie de résistivité électrique (ERT) menées sur la zone faillée de Hockai dans la région de Malmedy. Le but ... [more ▼]

Ce rapport consiste en la présentation des résultats des prospections géophysiques par tomographie de résistivité électrique (ERT) menées sur la zone faillée de Hockai dans la région de Malmedy. Le but principal de ces investigations est de juger de la fracturation de la roche dans et en dehors de la Zone de Faille de Hockai (ZFH) et de mettre en évidence les structures liées à cette zone de failles. [less ▲]

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See detailVADOSE ZONE STUDIES AT AN INDUSTRIAL CONTAMINATED SITE: THE VADOSE ZONE MONITORING SYSTEM AND CROSS-HOLE GEOPHYSICS
Fernandez de Vera, Natalia ULg; Beaujean, Jean ULg; Jamin, Pierre ULg et al

Conference (2014, September 03)

In situ vadose zone characterization is essential to improve risk characterization and remediation measures for soil and groundwater contamination. However, most available technologies have been developed ... [more ▼]

In situ vadose zone characterization is essential to improve risk characterization and remediation measures for soil and groundwater contamination. However, most available technologies have been developed in the context of agricultural soils. Most of these methodologies are not applicable at industrial sites, where soils and contamination differ in origin and composition. In addition, they are applicable only in the first meters of soils, leaving deeper vadose zones with lack of information, in particular on field scale heterogeneity. To overcome such difficulties, a vadose zone experiment has been setup at a former industrial site in Belgium. Industrial activities carried out on site left a legacy of soil and groundwater contamination in BTEX, PAH, cyanide and heavy metals. The experiment involves the combination of two techniques: the Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VMS) and cross-hole geophysics. The VMS allows continuous measurements of water content at different depths of the vadose zone (Dahan et al., 2009). In addition, it provides the possibility of pore water sampling at different depths. The system is formed by a flexible sleeve installed in a slanted borehole (Fig. 1) and containing monitoring units along its depth (Fig. 2). The flexible sleeve contains three types of monitoring units in the vadose zone: Time Domain Transmissometry (TDT), which allows water content measurements; Vadose Sampling Ports (VSP), used for collecting water samples coming from the matrix; and the Fracture Samplers (FS), which are used for retrieving water samples from the fractures. Cross-hole electrical tomography measurements are carried providing detailed spatial patterns about electrical properties of the subsurface. Such properties are related with subsurface heterogeneities, water content and solute concentrations. Two VMS were installed on site, together with four vertical boreholes containing electrodes for geophysical measurements. The site has been monitored under natural recharge conditions during the summer, autumn and winter. Results show reactions in the soil at depths up to 6m as a consequence of rainfall infiltration and groundwater level fluctuations. In addition, the chemistry of the soil water changes with depth and water infiltration. Background images obtained from geophysical measurements show a highly conductive subsurface due to the lithologies and the high mineralization of the water in the vadose zone. The combination of cross-hole geophysics with the VMS has provided an effective tool for characterizing the chemistry and the structure of the vadose zone. [less ▲]

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See detailCase studies of incorporation of prior information in electrical resistivity tomography: comparison of different approaches
Caterina, David ULg; Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg

in Near Surface Geophysics (2014), 12(4), 451-465

Many geophysical inverse problems are ill-posed and their solution non-unique. It is thus important to reduce the amount of mathematical solutions to more geologically plausible models by regularizing the ... [more ▼]

Many geophysical inverse problems are ill-posed and their solution non-unique. It is thus important to reduce the amount of mathematical solutions to more geologically plausible models by regularizing the inverse problem and incorporating all available prior information in the inversion process. We compare three different ways to incorporate prior information for electrical resistivity tomography (ERT): using a simple reference model or adding structural constraints to Occam's inversion and using geostatistical constraints. We made the comparison on four real cases representing different field applications in terms of scales of investigation and level of heterogeneities. In those cases, when electromagnetic logging data are available in boreholes to control the solution, it appears that incorporating prior information clearly improves the correspondence with logging data compared to the standard smoothness constrain. However, the way to incorporate it may have a major impact on the solution. A reference model can often be used to constrain the inversion; however, it can lead to misinterpretation if its weight is too strong or the resistivity values inappropriate. When the computation of the vertical and/or horizontal correlation length is possible, the geostatistical inversion gives reliable results everywhere in the section. However, adding geostatistical constraints can be difficult when there is not enough data to compute correlation lengths. When a known limit between two layers exists, the use of structural constrain seems to be more indicated particularly when the limit is located in zones of low sensitivity for ERT. This work should help interpreters to include their prior information directly into the inversion process through an appropriate way. [less ▲]

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See detailInverting Hydraulic Heads In An Alluvial Aquifer Constrained With Electrical Resistivity Tomography Data Through Multiple-Point Statistics And Probability Perturbation Method: A Case Study
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Scheidt, Celine; Caers, Jef et al

Conference (2014, July)

Solving spatial inverse problems in the Earth Sciences remains a considerable challenge given the large number of parameters to invert for, the non-linearity of forward models and as a result the ill ... [more ▼]

Solving spatial inverse problems in the Earth Sciences remains a considerable challenge given the large number of parameters to invert for, the non-linearity of forward models and as a result the ill-posedness of the problem. Geostatistics is therefore needed to specify prior models, more particularly, information to control the spatial features of the inverse solutions. We used multiple-point statistics (MPS) to build models of pre-defined hydrofacies: clay, sand and gravel facies constrained to geological data (hard data) and geophysical data (soft data). The electrical resistivity tomography method was chosen to bring relevant spatially distributed information on the presence of the facies, given its sensitivity to variations in lithology and porosity. The comparison of the geophysical signature of the deposits with direct observations in boreholes enables to derive the conditional probability of observing a facies given its electrical resistivity. This is used to produce probability maps for each facies and constrain stochastic simulations of the alluvial aquifer. Then, the probability perturbation method (PPM) is used to integrate hydraulic heads data, using MPS to generate models. This process enables us to obtain calibrated models of the aquifer. The PPM algorithm will automatically seek solutions fitting both hydrogeological data and training-image based geostatistical constraints. Only geometrical features of the model are affected by the perturbation, i.e. we do not attempt to directly find the optimal value of hydrogeological parameters (chosen a priori), but the optimal spatial distribution of facies whose prior distribution is quantified in a training image. The methodology is first tested with a synthetic benchmark. The tests performed show that the choice of the training image is a major source of uncertainty. Therefore, one first needs to select those training images consistent with the geophysical data (and hence reject the inconsistent ones). Then, we proceed with them to hydrogeological inversions. Geophysical data (soft constraints) acts as an accelerator of convergence by reducing prior uncertainty. The hydraulic conductivity of each facies is a sensitive parameter, but it can be easily optimized prior to the PPM process. The stochastic method is then successfully applied within the context of an alluvial aquifer submitted to a pumping experiment. We show how the integration of various sources of data (borehole logs, geophysics, hydraulic heads) aids in calibrating hydrogeological models, locating high hydraulic conductivity zones and reducing uncertainty. The developed methodology proposes a common framework (multiple-point statistics) to integrate various information sources with variable resolutions relevant for hydrogeology: geological, geophysical and hydrogeological data. The method can be extended to integrate tracer tests to enable the calibration of transport parameters as well. The originality of the method is to use geophysical data both to refine the choice of the training image and to constrain the inversion of hydrogeological models. [less ▲]

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See detailVadose zone studies at an industrial contaminated site: the vadose zone monitoring system and cross-hole geophysics
Fernandez de Vera, Natalia ULg; Beaujean, Jean ULg; Jamin, Pierre ULg et al

Poster (2014, April 29)

Poster presented at the European Geoscience Union General Assembly 2014. In this poster, the installation of the vadose zone experimental set up is presented along with first results

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Peer Reviewed
See detailRhodococcus erythropolis, a good candidate for an in-situ bioaugmentation starter
Masy, Thibaut ULg; Caterina, David; Tromme, Olivier et al

Conference (2014, March 05)

In-situ bioremediation is as a green and cheap process to clean soils from pollution compared to other techniques which often imply the excavation of soils. Amongst the bacteria used, Rhodococcus ... [more ▼]

In-situ bioremediation is as a green and cheap process to clean soils from pollution compared to other techniques which often imply the excavation of soils. Amongst the bacteria used, Rhodococcus erythropolis appears as one of the best candidates for bioaugmentation. In fact, this species forms biofilms and produces biosurfactants to solubilize hydrocarbons, which are consequently more available for this bacterium and the endogenous oil-degrading flora. Moreover, its large genome allows the degradation of various persistent pollutants, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons or sulfur-containing hydrocarbons. In addition to these benefits, our strain Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1, isolated from a dried polluted soil, resists to desiccation during industrial process or drought, and maintains its biodegradation capabilities. To test this strain in field conditions, a bioaugmentation experiment at a pilot scale was initiated in partnership with the Department ArGEnCo, Applied Geophysics of the University of Liège. The pilot contains 2 m3 of sand, in which a vertical lens of highly polluted clayey soil (7200 mg of hydrocarbons/g of dry weight) was inserted. During the first three months, 75% of the hydrocarbons content was degraded, whereas a previous biostimulation experiment with KNO3 and H2O2 did not lead to any depletion of the pollutant. This degradation was correlated with the increase of total and specific microorganisms (by a factor 13 and 10 respectively) and the almost complete NO3- consumption (from 50 to nearly 0 mg/L). Furthermore, electrical resistivity tomography images of the contaminated lens also depicted a switch in the bulk conductivity values that does not correspond to the trend followed by the aqueous conductivity. It could be explained by the implementation of the injected bacteria and their production of hydrophobic biosurfactants desorbing hydrocarbons from soil particles. This assumption is strengthened by the fact that low concentrations of hydrocarbons were detected in piezometers downstream of the contaminated area. Further experiments will be carried out at a smaller scale to validate this hypothesis. On the one hand, we are currently designing a protocol to follow the biofilm formation by Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 with spectral induced polarization (SIP) signature in sand columns of 1.5 L. On the other hand, the analysis of biosurfactants will be performed in liquid cultures containing diesel oil, to characterize the hydrophobicity developed by the strain in presence of a common but complex pollutant. To conclude, all these characteristics showed by Rhodococcus erythropolis T902.1 make it an ideal candidate for the production of a bioremediation starter to quickly treat hydrocarbons-polluted soils. . Furthermore, the better comprehension of geophysical signatures associated with such a process may lead in the future to use them as a low-cost monitoring tool for a better visualization of active remediation zones. [less ▲]

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