References of "Hermans, Thomas"
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See detailGeophysical Methods for Monitoring Temperature Changes in Shallow Low Enthalpy Geothermal Systems
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg; Robert, Tanguy et al

in Energies (in press)

Low enthalpy geothermal systems exploited with ground source heat pumps or groundwater heat pumps present many advantages within the context of sustainable energy use. Designing, monitoring and ... [more ▼]

Low enthalpy geothermal systems exploited with ground source heat pumps or groundwater heat pumps present many advantages within the context of sustainable energy use. Designing, monitoring and controlling such systems requires the measurement of spatially distributed temperature fields and the knowledge of the parameters governing groundwater flow (permeability and specific storage) and heat transport (thermal conductivity and volumetric thermal capacity). Such data are often scarce or not available. In recent years, the ability of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), self-potential method (SP) and distributed temperature sensing (DTS) to monitor spatially and temporally temperature changes in the subsurface has been investigated. We review the recent advances in using these three methods for this type of shallow applications. A special focus is made regarding the petrophysical relationships and on underlying assumptions generally needed for a quantitative interpretation of these geophysical data. We show that those geophysical methods are mature to be used within the context of temperature monitoring and that a combination of them may be the best choice regarding control and validation issues. [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 detailCase studies of incorporation of prior information in electrical resistivity tomography: comparison of different approaches
Caterina, David; 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 detailThermal tracer tests for characterizing a shallow alluvial aquifer
Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Klepikova, Maria ULg; Jamin, Pierre ULg et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2014, April 28)

Using heat as an active tracer in different types of aquifers is a topic of increasing interest [e.g. Vandenbohede et al.; 2008, Wagner et al., 2013; Read et al., 2013]. In this study, we investigate the ... [more ▼]

Using heat as an active tracer in different types of aquifers is a topic of increasing interest [e.g. Vandenbohede et al.; 2008, Wagner et al., 2013; Read et al., 2013]. In this study, we investigate the potential interest of coupling heat and solute tracer tests for characterization of a shallow alluvial aquifer. A thermal tracer test was conducted in the alluvial aquifer of the Meuse River, Belgium. The tracing experiment consisted in simultaneously injecting heated water and a dye tracer in a piezometer and monitoring the evolution of groundwater temperature and tracer concentration in the recovery well and in nine monitoring wells located according to 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 and more dispersive than solute transport. Recovery is very low for heat while in the same time it is measured as relatively high for the solute tracer. This is due to the fact that heat diffusion is larger than molecular diffusion, implying that exchange between groundwater and the porous medium matrix is far more significant for heat than for solute tracers. Temperature and concentrations in the recovery well are then used for estimating the specific heat capacity with the energy balance approach and the estimated value is found to be consistent with those found in the literature. Temperature breakthrough curves in other piezometers are contrasted with what would be expected in an ideal layered aquifer. They reveal strongly unequal lateral and vertical components of the transport mechanisms. By means of a numerical heat transport model, we provide a preliminary interpretation of these temperature breakthrough curves. Furthermore, these data 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 detailIntegration of near-surface geophysical, geological and hydrogeological data with multiple-point geostatistics in alluvial aquifers
Hermans, Thomas ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Alluvial plains constitute essential geological bodies for environmental studies such as contaminated sites remediation, low-enthalpy geothermal energy or groundwater resources. The heterogeneity of these ... [more ▼]

Alluvial plains constitute essential geological bodies for environmental studies such as contaminated sites remediation, low-enthalpy geothermal energy or groundwater resources. The heterogeneity of these deposits governs flow processes and needs to be quantified. A proper description of such complex deposits requires an integrated approach combining geological, geophysical and hydrogeological data. Solving such 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. Two-point geostatistical approaches have been developed to describe the heterogeneity of one geological formation but fail to reproduce the heterogeneity of fluvial deposits with multiple facies. Multiple-point statistics (MPS) introduced the training image (TI) concept to replace the variogram within an extended sequential simulation framework. The use of geophysics to constrain such simulations has been studied in the petroleum industry with wave-based methods (seismic reflection), but little research has been done to assess the use of near-surface potential methods to condition MPS in environmental studies. In this work, we propose to integrate geological (borehole logs), geophysical (electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) profiles) and hydrogeological (hydraulic heads) data within MPS models on the alluvial plain of the Meuse River, Belgium. Potential-based geophysical methods being integrative, they suffer from a relatively poor resolution. We first study how we can improve the informative content of geophysical inversion by including prior information in the ERT inverse problem. Three methods are tested and compared in several field cases, namely the reference model inversion, the structural inversion and the regularized geostatistical inversion. If every method has advantages and drawbacks, the best suited method for the considered problem is the regularized geostatistical method. Electromagnetic borehole logs enable to derive the vertical correlation length of electrical resistivity in the deposits and to subsequently use it to constrain the inversion. In addition to the knowledge of the bedrock position, it enables to retrieve an electrical resistivity distribution of the deposits close to direct observations. This ensures that geophysical models will be informative to constrain MPS simulations. Given the lack of geological and sedimentological data to build accurate TIs, a data base of TIs is built using several different parameters and scenarios. They are all based on a three facies description: clay/loam, sand and gravel corresponding to low, intermediate and high hydraulic conductivity. Then, we develop a methodology to verify the consistency of independently-built TIs with geophysical data. Our methodology starts by creating subsurface models with each TI. From these models we create synthetic geophysical data and from this synthetic data, synthetic inverted models. These models are now compared with a single inverted model obtained from the field survey, allowing for our definition of what is ``consistent''. To that extent, we calculate the Euclidean distance between any two inverted models as well as field data and visualize the results in a 2D or 3D space using multidimensional scaling (MDS). With this technique, it is possible to verify if field cases fall in the distribution represented by synthetic cases, and thus are consistent with them. In a second step, we present a cluster analysis on the MDS-map to highlight which parameters are the most sensitive for the construction of TI. Based on this analysis, a probability of each geological scenario is computed through kernel smoothing of the densities in reduced projected metric space. The integration of hydrogeological data is made through a stochastic inversion method: the probability perturbation method (PPM), using MPS constrained with geophysical data to generate models. The PPM algorithm automatically seeks 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. Tracing experiments may be used to further constrain hydrogeological models. ERT has proven its ability to monitor salt tracer tests, but few studies have investigated its performances in thermal tracing experiments. In this study, we demonstrate the ability of surface and crosshole ERT to image quantitatively temperature changes during heat injection experiments. Such resistivity data provides important information to improve hydrogeological models. Our study proves that ERT, especially crosshole ERT, is a reliable tool to follow thermal tracing experiments. It also confirms that ERT should be included to in situ techniques to characterize heat transfer in the subsurface and to monitor geothermal resources exploitation. [less ▲]

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See detailUtilisation de la géostatistique multi-points pour l'intégration de données de tomographie de résistivité électrique aux modèles hydrogéologiques
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Scheidt, Céline; Caers, Jef et al

Scientific conference (2014, January 15)

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See detailAssessing the Probability of Training Image-Based Geological Scenarios Using Geophysical Data
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Caers, Jef; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg

in Pardo-Iguzquiza, Eulogio; Guardiola-Albert, Carolina; Heredia, Javier (Eds.) et al Mathematics of Planet Earth - Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the International Association for Mathematical Geosciences (2014)

In multiple-point statistics (MPS), the construction of training im-ages (TIs) is one of the most critical steps. Reliable geological studies may not always be available to depict with certainty what ... [more ▼]

In multiple-point statistics (MPS), the construction of training im-ages (TIs) is one of the most critical steps. Reliable geological studies may not always be available to depict with certainty what geological patterns or heterogeneity are present. In this context, geophysical techniques may provide additional information to reduce the possible large uncertainty in the understanding of prior geological scenarios. To overcome this problem, we developed a methodology to verify the consistency of geophysical data with independently-built TIs representing different plausible geological scenarios. If a TI is deemed consistent with the field geophysical survey, then in a sec-ond step we calculate a likelihood probability for each consistent TI. Our methodology starts by creating subsurface models with each TI. From these models we create synthetic geophysical data and from this synthetic data, synthetic inverted models. These models are now compared with a single inverted model obtained from the field sur-vey, allowing for our definition of what is “consistent”. To that ex-tent, we calculate the Euclidean distance between any two inverted models as well as field data and visualize the results in a 2D or 3D space using multidimensional scaling (MDS). With this technique, it is possible to verify if field cases fall in the distribution represented by synthetic cases, and thus are consistent with them. In a second step, we present a cluster analysis on the MDS-map to highlight which parameters are the most sensitive for the construction of TI. Based on this analysis, a probability of each geological scenario is computed through kernel smoothing of the densities in reduced pro-jected metric space. This approach was tested using electrical resistivity tomography as geophysical data to analyze TI scenarios for the Meuse alluvial aqui-fer (Belgium), where the lack of reliable sedimentological data lead to the definition of a multitude of geological scenarios, hence TIs. [less ▲]

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See detailCoupling of hydrogeological models with hydrogeophysical data to characterize seawater intrusion and shallow geothermal systems
Beaujean, Jean ULg; Kemna, Andreas; Engesgaard, Peter et al

Conference (2013, December 12)

While coastal aquifers are being stressed due to climate changes and excessive groundwater withdrawals require characterizing efficiently seawater intrusion (SWI) dynamics, production of geothermal energy ... [more ▼]

While coastal aquifers are being stressed due to climate changes and excessive groundwater withdrawals require characterizing efficiently seawater intrusion (SWI) dynamics, production of geothermal energy is increasingly being used to hinder global warming. To study these issues, we need both robust measuring technologies and reliable predictions based on numerical models. SWI models are currently calibrated using borehole observations. Similarly, geothermal models depend mainly on the temperature field at few locations. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) can be used to improve these models given its high sensitivity to TDS and temperature and its relatively high lateral resolution. Inherent geophysical limitations, such as the resolution loss, can affect the overall quality of the ERT images and also prevent the correct recovery of the desired hydrochemical property. We present an uncoupled and coupled hydrogeophysical inversion to calibrate SWI and thermohydrogeologic models using ERT. In the SWI models, we demonstrate with two synthetic benchmarks (homogeneous and heterogeneous coastal aquifers) the ability of cumulative sensitivity-filtered ERT images using surface-only data to recover the hydraulic conductivity. Filtering of ERT-derived data at depth, where resolution is poorer, and the model errors make the dispersivity more difficult to estimate. In the coupled approach, we showed that parameter estimation is significantly improved because regularization bias is replaced by forward modeling only. Our efforts are currently focusing on applying the uncoupled/coupled approaches on a real life case study using field data from the site of Almeria, SE Spain. In the thermohydrogeologic models, the most sensitive hydrologic parameters responsible for heat transport are estimated from surface ERT-derived temperatures and ERT resistance data. A real life geothermal experiment that took place on the Campus De Sterre of Ghent University, Belgium and a synthetic case are tested. They consist in a thermal injection and storage of water in a shallow sandy aquifer. The use of a physically-based constraint accounting for the difference in conductivity between the formation and the tap injected water and based on the hydrogeological model calibrated first on temperatures is necessary to improve the parameter estimation. Results suggest that time-lapse ERT data may be limited but useful information for estimating groundwater flow and transport parameters for both the convection and conduction phases. [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 detailMonitoring temperature changes during heat tracing experiments using electrical resistivity tomography
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg

Conference (2013, December 06)

Thermal tracing experiments are becoming common in hydrogeology to estimate parameters governing heat transport processes and to study geothermal reservoirs. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has ... [more ▼]

Thermal tracing experiments are becoming common in hydrogeology to estimate parameters governing heat transport processes and to study geothermal reservoirs. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has proven its ability to monitor salt tracer tests, but few studies have investigated its performances, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in thermal tracing experiments. In this study, we monitored a heat injection and pumping experiment in an alluvial aquifer using both surface and crosshole ERT. The data sets of the surface profile, located along the main direction of flow, are distorted during injection by an electrical short-circuit through the external pumping-heating-injection experimental set-up. Current is flowing outside the subsurface leading to bad data for electrode dipoles located near the pumping and injection wells. The crosshole ERT panel is perpendicular to the main direction of flow. Difference inversion time-lapse images clearly show a preferential flow path in the bottom of the aquifer related to the presence of a coarse and clean gravel layer. Direct temperature measurements are available in control piezometers during the experiment to validate the ERT-derived temperatures and confirm the spatial pattern of temperature observed with ERT. Breakthrough curves are correctly retrieved in time and difference of 10 to 20% are observed for temperature estimation. The latter requires site-specific petrophysical laws and chemical stability assumptions that must be carefully verified. Our study proves that ERT, especially crosshole ERT, is a reliable tool to follow thermal tracing experiments but also to characterize heat transfer in the subsurface and to monitor geothermal resource exploitations. We also show that surface ERT may be impacted by the survey layout in unsuspected ways. [less ▲]

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See detailReliability of resistivity-derived temperature: insights from laboratory measurements
Robert, Tanguy ULg; Hermans, Thomas ULg; Dumont, Gaël ULg et al

Conference (2013, December 06)

This contribution consists in studying the reliability of resistivity-derived temperature, for example from time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys. The idea of using temperature as a ... [more ▼]

This contribution consists in studying the reliability of resistivity-derived temperature, for example from time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys. The idea of using temperature as a quantitative tracer is growing in the hydrogeophysical community, especially to simulate geo/hydrothermal systems. However, plenty of physico-chemical processes are influenced by temperature and most of them impact directly resistivity measurements. Therefore, one needs to take them into account to retrieve quantitative temperature estimates from resistivity measurements but, up to now, it is seldom the case. The experiment we conducted consisted in simulating an ERT monitoring of heat storage in a sandy aquifer. We show that using experimental relationships between fluid electrical conductivity and temperature alone does not allow reliable temperature estimates, simply because rock-water interactions are neglected. Worst, from a certain temperature (45°C here), the bulk resistivity starts to increase with temperature although this is not expected from the experimental law. Chemical analyses made on water samples collected during the experiment highlight the importance of accounting chemical reactions (e.g. calcite precipitation with increasing temperature) occurring when temperature changes as well as their kinetics. Finally, other parameters as surface conductivity cannot always be neglected when estimating temperature from resistivity measurements. This means that retrieving reliable temperatures from bulk resistivity measurements (e.g. time-lapse ERT) requires the knowledge of water mineralization as well as the rock / soil mineralogy in order to fully integrate physico-chemical reactions between groundwater and the host rock, for example with a joint inversion scheme. [less ▲]

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See detailMinimum gradient support and geostatistics regularization approaches for inverting time-lapse data
Nguyen, Frédéric ULg; Hermans, Thomas ULg; Robert, Tanguy ULg

Conference (2013, December 05)

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

Inversion of time-lapse resistivity data allows obtaining ‘snapshots’ of changes occurring in monitored systems for applications such as aquifer storage, 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 processes and controlling parameters. However, the reliability of the analysis is dependent on survey geometry, measurement schemes, data error, or regularization. Except 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/or time. We here propose to use two alternative regularization approaches which may be better suited to invert time-lapse data. The first approach is the minimum gradient support (MGS) regularization, which 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. The second approach is based on geostatistics and requires first to derive variogram parameters for the model changes. In this contribution, we demonstrate the benefits and limitations of these regularization approaches to time-lapse data on numerical benchmarks and three case studies. [less ▲]

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See detailReliability of ERT-derived Temperature - Insights from Laboratory Measurements
Robert, Tanguy ULg; Hermans, Thomas ULg; Dumont, Gaël ULg et al

in EarthDoc - Near Surface Geosciences 2013 - 19th European Meeting of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics (2013, September)

We performed laboratory measurements on fully saturated sand samples in the context of deriving reliable temperature from time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). The experiment consisted in ... [more ▼]

We performed laboratory measurements on fully saturated sand samples in the context of deriving reliable temperature from time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). The experiment consisted in monitoring an increase of temperature in sand samples with electrical resistivity measurements. We neglected the effect of surface conductivity since experiments showed two orders of magnitude between surface and fluid conductivities. We show that using simple linear relationship between fluid electrical conductivity and temperature alone does not allow reliable temperature estimates. Indeed, chemical analyses highlight the importance of accounting chemical reactions occurring when temperature changes, including dissolution/precipitation processes. We performed two experiments based on typical in-situ conditions. We first simulated the injection of a less conductive tap water and second, the injection of heated formation water. In the second case, minerals solubility decreases and precipitation occurs, leading to an increase of bulk resistivity. This mechanism competes with dissolution of minerals when tap water is injected, since tap water is not in equilibrium with the medium. In any case, further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms and to develop a fully integrated law to derive better temperature estimates. [less ▲]

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See detailA heat injection and pumping experiment in a gravel aquifer monitored with crosshole electrical resistivity tomography
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Jamin, Pierre ULg et al

in EarthDoc - Near Surface Geosciences 2013 - 19th European Meeting of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics (2013, September)

Thermal tracing experiments are becoming common in hydrogeology to estimate parameters governing heat transport processes and to study geothermal reservoirs. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has ... [more ▼]

Thermal tracing experiments are becoming common in hydrogeology to estimate parameters governing heat transport processes and to study geothermal reservoirs. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has proven its ability to monitor salt tracer tests, but few studies have investigated its performances in thermal tracing experiments. In this study, we monitor the injection and pumping of heated water using crosshole ERT in a panel crossing the main flow direction. Difference inversion time-lapse images clearly show the heterogeneous pattern of resistivity changes, and thus temperature changes, highlighting the existence of preferential flow paths in the aquifer. Comparison of temperature estimates from ERT and direct measurements in boreholes show the ability of ERT to quantify the temperatures in the aquifer and to draw the breakthrough curves of the thermal tracer with a relative accuracy. Such resistivity data may provide important information to improve hydrogeological models. Our study proves that ERT, especially crosshole ERT, is a reliable tool to follow thermal tracing experiments. It also confirms that ERT should be included to in situ techniques to characterize heat transfer in the subsurface and to monitor geothermal resources exploitation. [less ▲]

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See detailHeat transfer characterization in a shallow aquifer using heat and dye tracer tests
Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Orban, Philippe ULg; Hermans, Thomas ULg et al

Conference (2013, July 22)

Very low enthalpy geothermal systems (open or closed) are increasingly considered for heating or cooling houses and offices using groundwater energy combined with heat pumps. However, the design and the ... [more ▼]

Very low enthalpy geothermal systems (open or closed) are increasingly considered for heating or cooling houses and offices using groundwater energy combined with heat pumps. However, the design and the impact of current shallow geothermal systems are often set up and assessed in a semi-empirical way. In our country, this situation seems accepted by most of the private partners but not by the authorities and responsible administrations evaluating the impact on groundwater with a mid- to long-term perspective. A rigorous methodology is needed based on a physically based estimation of heat transfer parameters. In this study, the simultaneous use of heat and dye tracers allows estimating simultaneously heat transfer and solute transport parameters in an alluvial aquifer. The experimental field site, located near Liege (Belgium), is equipped with 21 piezometers drilled in the alluvial deposits of the Meuse River. These alluvial deposits are composed of a loam layer (3 m) overlying a sand and gravel layer which constitutes the alluvial aquifer (7 m). The tracing experiment consisted in injecting simultaneously heated water and a dye tracer in a piezometer and monitoring the evolution of groundwater temperature and tracer concentration in a series of 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 detailCoupling heat and salt tracer experiment for the estimation of heat transfer and solute transport parameters
Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Jamin, Pierre ULg; Orban, Philippe ULg et al

Conference (2013, April 22)

Geothermal energy is a promising source of energy in the context of sustainable development. Therefore, very low enthalpy geothermal systems (open or closed) are increasingly considered for heating or ... [more ▼]

Geothermal energy is a promising source of energy in the context of sustainable development. Therefore, very low enthalpy geothermal systems (open or closed) are increasingly considered for heating or cooling houses and offices using groundwater energy. However, prior to the development of such systems, a feasibility study and an impact study of the system on groundwater ressources are required. Thereliability of such studies is highly dependent on the quality of the estimation of heat transfer parameters. This highlights the necessity of estimating properly such parameters. The objective of this study is to combine the use of heat and salt tracers to estimate simultaneously heat transfer and solute transport parameters in an alluvial aquifer. Additionally, coupling heat and salt tracing experiments is particularly useful for comparing heat transfer and solute transport processes occurring in the subsurface. An experimental field site, located near Liege (Belgium), is equipped with 21 piezometers drilled in the alluvial deposits of the Meuse River. These alluvial deposits are composed of a loess layer (3 m) overlying a sand and gravel layer which constitutes the alluvial aquifer (7 m). The coupled tracing experiment consists in injecting simultaneously heated water and salt in a piezometer and monitoring the evolution of groundwater temperature and salt concentration in a series of control panels set perpendicularly to groundwater flow. This coupled tracing experiment is then simulated using a numerical model. The estimation of heat transfer and solute transport parameters is obtained by calibrating this numerical model using inversion tools. The present study proposes a methodology coupling heat and salt tracing experiment for estimating heat transfer parameters at the field scale. Furthermore, this coupled tracing experiment shows that the comportment of heat and solute in the subsurface presents key differences. [less ▲]

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See detailProbability perturbation method applied to the inversion of groundwater flow models using HydroGeoSphere
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Scheidt, Céline; Caers, Jef et al

Conference (2013, April 04)

Solving spatial inverse problems in Earth Sciences remains a big challenge given the high number of parameters to invert for and the complexity of non-linear forward models. Techniques were developed to ... [more ▼]

Solving spatial inverse problems in Earth Sciences remains a big challenge given the high number of parameters to invert for and the complexity of non-linear forward models. Techniques were developed to reduce the number of parameters to invert for or to produce geologically consistent simulations from an initial guess. These techniques ask for a prior model to constrain the spatial distribution of the solution. Geostatistical models contain, by nature, information to control the spatial features of the inverse solutions, but the integration of dynamic data into such models remains difficult. We adapted, the “probability perturbation algorithm” (PPM) using Matlab® to invert hydrogeological data using multiple-point geostatistics to build models of pre-defined hydrofacies. The algorithm uses HydroGeoSphere (HGS) to compute the forward response of the model and SGems to produce geostatistical realizations. The algorithm only needs the proper definition of all the parameters to be used by HydroGeoSphere (grid matching with SGems, position of the wells, pumping rate, facies properties, boundary conditions, etc.). The PPM algorithm will automatically seek solutions fitting both hydrogeological data and geostatistical constraints. Through the inversion process, the initial geostatistical realization is perturbed. Only geometrical features of the model are affected, i.e. we do not attempt to directly find the optimal value of hydrogeological parameters, but the optimal spatial distribution of facies whose prior distribution is quantified in a training image. The algorithm can be divided in three steps. In the first step, we use SGems to generate an initial facies model with the multiple-point geostatistical algorithm SNESIM (single normal equation simulation). The facies model is composed of several categories representing hydrological facies (e.g. gravel, sand and clay). It can be conditioned using hard data (borehole data) and/or soft data (e.g. geophysical data). We then run a first flow simulation with HydroGeoSphere. This requires defining hydrogeological parameters (porosity, hydraulic conductivity, etc.) for each category of the facies model to create a hydrogeological model. The response of the latter model is compared to the expected one through an objective function. In the second step, a perturbation to the facies model is computed using a single parameter called rD. This perturbation is used to generate a new facies model with SGems and calculate a new objective function value via HGS, as done in the first step. An inner loop optimizes the value of rD. In the third step, we verify if the objective function of the best fitting model is smaller than a predefined value. If it is the case, we stop the algorithm, otherwise we go back to step 2 until convergence. We illustrate the methodology with a synthetic example in an alluvial aquifer. The model is based on a training image depicting gravel channels and clay lenses in a coarse sand aquifer. We simulate a pumping test and inverse water level data recorded at 9 wells using our implementation of the PPM algorithm. Using this method, it is possible to generate multiple solutions and to derive a posterior probability of the facies distribution. [less ▲]

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See detailHydrogeological processes in fractured and porous media: insights from geophysical case studies
Robert, Tanguy ULg; Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg

Conference (2013, January 18)

This presentation focuses on geophysical case studies with the aim to highlight the possibilities to study and monitor hydrogeological processes in the subsurface, including transport processes in ... [more ▼]

This presentation focuses on geophysical case studies with the aim to highlight the possibilities to study and monitor hydrogeological processes in the subsurface, including transport processes in fractured or in porous media. The presentation emphasizes two geoelectrical methods, namely electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) which images the electrical resistivity distribution of the subsurface and self-potential (SP) whose measured signal is directly sensitive to groundwater fluxes. The first case study concerns the geophysical identification and characterization of large hydraulically-active fractured areas in calcareous synclines and in particular the assessment of the joint use of ERT and SP to set up new piezometers in fractured limestone. This assessment shows that piezometers drilled inside less resistive areas and/or in negative SP anomalies presented high hydraulic capacities. Inversely, piezometers drilled inside more resistive zones and/or outside an SP anomaly presented low hydraulic capacities. The SP anomaly related to preferential flow in fractures was thus demonstrated for the first time. All these fractures information, obtained with geophysics, improved the conceptualization and calibration of the groundwater flow model of the calcareous valley. A seasonal monitoring of SP signals proved to be a successful methodology to better understand the hydrodynamics of calcareous aquifers and in particular to follow the seasonal drawdown of the water table in the calcareous valley. Different methodologies to delineate the main groundwater flow direction were also tested. The latter can be achieved for example by drawing an SP map showing the main hydraulic gradients or by monitoring a salt tracer test with ERT to highlight preferential flow in fractures. The second case study concerns the ERT monitoring of a shallow geothermal test conducted in a porous medium (sand). The main objective of this study was to derive temperature from a series of electrical resistivity images since the electrical resistivity is directly sensitive to temperature changes. This field work demonstrates that surface electric resistivity tomography can monitor heat injection and storage experiments in shallow aquifers providing a number of practical applications, such as the monitoring or the design of shallow geothermal systems or the use of heated water to replace salt water in tracer tests. Through these two different case studies, this presentation also emphasizes in a practical way on the importance of data inversion and image appraisal since these issues are crucial to quantitatively study hydrogeological processes. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of temperature estimates from heat transport model and electrical resistivity tomography during a shallow heat injection and storage experiment
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Daoudi, Moubarak ULg; Vandenbohede, Alexander et al

in Berichte der Geologischen Bundesanstalt (2012, September), 93

Groundwater resources are increasingly used around the world as geothermal systems. Understanding physical processes and quantification of parameters determining heat transport in porous media is ... [more ▼]

Groundwater resources are increasingly used around the world as geothermal systems. Understanding physical processes and quantification of parameters determining heat transport in porous media is therefore important. Geophysical methods may be useful in order to yield additional information with greater coverage than conventional wells. We report a heat transport study during a shallow heat injection and storage field test. Heated water (about 50°C) was injected for 6 days at the rate of 80 l/h in a 10.5°C aquifer. Since bulk electric resistivity variations can bring important information on temperature changes in aquifers (water electric conductivity increases about 2%/°C around 25°C), we monitored the test with surface electric resistivity tomography and demonstrate its ability to monitor spatially temperature variations. Time-lapse electric images clearly show the decrease and then the increase in bulk electric resistivity of the plume of heated water, during respectively the injection and the storage phase. This information enabled to calibrate the conceptual flow and heat model used to simulate the test. Inverted resistivity values are validated with borehole electromagnetic measurements (EM39) and are in agreement with the temperature logs used to calibrate the parameters of the thermo-hydrogeological model for the injection phase. This field work demonstrates that surface electric resistivity tomography can monitor heat and storage experiments in shallow aquifers. These results could potentially lead to a number of practical applications, such as the monitoring or the design of shallow geothermal systems or the use of heated water to replace salt water in tracer tests. [less ▲]

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