References of "Huysmans, Marijke"
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See detailLarge-scale stochastic optimization using non-stationary geostatistics for uncertainty assessment of groundwater flow and solute transport, in the framework of a near surface radioactive waste disposal
Rogiers, Bart; Laloy, E.; Gedeon, Matej et al

Poster (2014, July 09)

Uncertainty quantification is very much needed to support decision making related to e.g. environmental impact assessment for waste disposal sites. A probabilistic result provides a much stronger basis ... [more ▼]

Uncertainty quantification is very much needed to support decision making related to e.g. environmental impact assessment for waste disposal sites. A probabilistic result provides a much stronger basis for decision making compared to a single deterministic outcome. Accurate posterior exploration of high-dimensional and CPU-intensive models, which are often used for environmental impact assessment, is however a challenging task. To quantify the uncertainty associated with solute transport in the framework of a near surface radioactive waste disposal in Mol/Dessel, Belgium, we investigate combining the adaptive Metropolis (AM) McMC algorithm for updating the global model parameters, and adaptive spatial resampling (ASR) for updating of the spatially distributed model parameters, by block sampling. The forward model used is a groundwater flow model conditioned on borehole and direct push data, that accounts for non-stationary heterogeneity in hydraulic conductivity. The obtained flow solutions are used for solute transport simulations, and the results are compared with a different groundwater flow model parameterization, that makes use of homogeneous hydrogeological layers. Moreover, a number of simulations is performed to assess the effect of realistic dispersivity, which is derived from outcrop investigations. The obtained results indicate that the combination of AM and ASR using block sampling seems not to be very efficient for McMC sampling with the forward model used in this study. However, using the algorithm in optimization mode seems to work fine, and provides an alternate way for exploring the parameter space and the prediction uncertainty. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of multiple-point geostatistics on groundwater flow and transport in media with complex geological heterogeneity: lessons learnt and remaining challenges
Huysmans, Marijke; Dassargues, Alain ULg

in Proceedings (2014, July 09)

Multiple-point geostatistics has been increasingly applied on groundwater problems in the last ten years. Several case studies have been published indicating simulating realistic geological heterogeneity ... [more ▼]

Multiple-point geostatistics has been increasingly applied on groundwater problems in the last ten years. Several case studies have been published indicating simulating realistic geological heterogeneity using multiple-point geostatistics can significantly improve groundwater flow and solute transport predictions. There are however several remaining challenges when applying multiple-point geostatistics to groundwater problems often suffering from data scarcity. These challenges might be the reason why multiple-point has been used to a much lesser extent by practitioners than by researchers. This paper gives an overview of the current challenges and discusses new advancements to overcome them. The following questions will be discussed: How to obtain 3D training images? Can the representativity of the used training image be validated ? How sensitive are groundwater calculations to the selection of the training image? Is it worth incorporating fine scale geological heterogeneity in groundwater problems or are other features (boundary conditions, data uncertainty/quality, …) more important for improving predictions? How can multiple-point geostatistics be used without suffering from very long computation times for the numerical models? Is overparametrization of groundwater models an issue ? What are the practical obstacles to apply multiple-point geostatistics by groundwater practitioners? [less ▲]

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See detailHydrogéologie et grands travaux du Génie Civil - Hydrogeologie en grote civieltechnische werken
Schroeder, Christian; Huysmans, Marijke; Dassargues, Alain ULg

in Dassargues, Alain; Walraevens, Kristine (Eds.) Watervoerende lagen & grondwater in België - Aquifères & eaux souterraines en Belgique (2014)

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See detailMulti-scale aquifer characterization and groundwater flow model parameterization using direct push technologies
Rogiers, Bart; Vienken, Thomas; Gedeon, Matej et al

in Environmental Earth Sciences (2014)

Direct push (DP) technologies are typically used for cost-effective geotechnical characterization of unconsolidated soils and sediments. In more recent developments, DP technologies have been used for ... [more ▼]

Direct push (DP) technologies are typically used for cost-effective geotechnical characterization of unconsolidated soils and sediments. In more recent developments, DP technologies have been used for efficient hydraulic conductivity (K) characterization along vertical profiles with sampling resolutions of up to a few centimetres. Until date, however, only a limited number of studies document high-resolution in situ DP data for three-dimensional conceptual hydrogeological model development and groundwater flow model parameterization. This study demonstrates how DP technologies improve building of a conceptual hydrogeological model. We further evaluate the degree to which the DP-derived hydrogeological parameter K, measured across different spatial scales, improves performance of a regional groundwater flow model. The study area covers an area of ~60 km² with two overlying, mainly unconsolidated sand, aquifers separated by a 5-7 m thick highly heterogeneous clay layer (in north-eastern Belgium). The hydrostratigraphy was obtained from an analysis of cored boreholes and about 265 cone penetration tests (CPTs). The hydrogeological parameter K was derived from a combined analysis of core and CPT data and also from hydraulic direct push tests. A total of 50 three-dimensional realizations of K were generated using a non-stationary multivariate geostatistical approach. To preserve the measured K values in the stochastic realizations, the groundwater model Krealizations were conditioned on the borehole and direct push data. Optimization was performed to select the best performing model parameterization out of the 50 realizations. This model outperformed a previously developed reference model with homogeneous K fields for all hydrogeological layers. Comparison of particle tracking simulations, based either on the optimal heterogeneous or reference homogeneous groundwater model flow fields, demonstrate the impact DP-derived subsurface heterogeneity in K can have on groundwater flow and solute transport. We demonstrated that DP technologies, especially when calibrated with site-specific data, provide high-resolution 3D subsurface data for building more reliable conceptual models and increasing groundwater flow model performance. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh resolution saturated hydraulic conductivity logging of friable to poorly indurated borehole cores using air permeability measurements
Rogiers, Bart; Winters, P.; Huysmans, Marijke et al

in Hydrogeology Journal (2014)

Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) is one of the most important parameters determining groundwater flow and contaminant transport in both unsaturated and saturated porous media. This paper investigates ... [more ▼]

Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) is one of the most important parameters determining groundwater flow and contaminant transport in both unsaturated and saturated porous media. This paper investigates the hand-held air permeameter technique for high resolution hydraulic conductivity determination on borehole cores using a spatial resolution of ~0.05 m. We test the suitability of such air permeameter measurements on friable to poorly indurated sediments to improve the spatial prediction of classical laboratory based Ks measurements obtained at a much lower spatial resolution (~2 m). About 368 Ks measurements were made on ~350 m of borehole cores originating from the Campine basin, Northern Belgium, while ~5230 air permeability measurements were performed on the same cores. The heterogeneity in sediments, ranging from sand to clayey sand with distinct clay lenses, resulted in a Ks range of seven orders of magnitude. Cross-validation demonstrated that using air permeameter data as secondary variable and laboratory based Ks measurements as primary variable increased performance from R2 = 0.35 for ordinary kriging (laboratory Ks only) to R2 = 0.61 for co-kriging. Due to the large degree of small-scale variability detected by the air permeameter, the spatial granularity in the predicted laboratory Ks also increases drastically. The separate treatment of Kh and Kv revealed considerable anisotropy in certain lithostratigraphical units, while others where clearly isotropic at the sample scale. Air permeameter measurements on borehole cores provide a cost-effective way to improve spatial predictions of traditional laboratory based Ks. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of multiple-point geostatistics on modelling pumping tests and tracer tests in heterogeneous environments with complex geological structures
Huysmans, Marijke; Dassargues, Alain ULg

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2014, April 28)

In heterogeneous environments with complex geological structures, analysis of pumping and tracer tests is often problematic. Standard interpretation methods do not account for heterogeneity or simulate ... [more ▼]

In heterogeneous environments with complex geological structures, analysis of pumping and tracer tests is often problematic. Standard interpretation methods do not account for heterogeneity or simulate this heterogeneity introducing empirical zonation of the calibrated parameters or using variogram-based geostatistical techniques that are often not able to describe realistic heterogeneity in complex geological environments where e.g. sedimentary structures, multi-facies deposits, structures with large connectivity or curvi-linear structures can be present. Multiple-point geostatistics aims to overcome the limitations of the variogram and can be applied in different research domains to simulate heterogeneity in complex environments. In this project, multiple-point geostatistics is applied to the interpretation of pumping tests and a tracer test in an actual case of a sandy heterogeneous aquifer. This study allows to deduce the main advantages and disadvantages of this technique compared to variogram-based techniques for interpretation of pumping tests and tracer tests. A pumping test and a tracer test were performed in the same sandbar deposit consisting of cross-bedded units composed of materials with different grain sizes and hydraulic conductivities. The pumping test and the tracer test are analyzed with a local 3D groundwater model in which fine-scale sedimentary heterogeneity is modelled using multiple-point geostatistics. To reduce CPU and RAM requirements of the multiple-point geostatistical simulation steps, edge properties indicating the presence of irregularly-shaped surfaces are directly simulated. Results show that for the pumping test as well as for the tracer test, incorporating heterogeneity results in a better fit between observed and calculated drawdowns/concentrations. The improvement of the fit is however not as large as expected. In this paper, the reasons for these somewhat unsatisfactory results are explored and recommendations for future applications of multiple-point geostatistics on pumping tests and tracer tests are formulated. [less ▲]

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

Poster (2014, April 28)

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

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

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See detailUsing multiple point geostatistics for tracer test modeling in a clay-drape environment with spatially variable conductivity and sorption coefficient
Huysmans, Marijke; Orban, Philippe ULg; Cochet, Elke et al

in Mathematical Geosciences (2013), 46(5), 519-537

This study investigates the effect of fine-scale clay drapes on tracer transport. A tracer test was performed in a sandbar deposit consisting of cross-bedded sandy units intercalated with many fine-scale ... [more ▼]

This study investigates the effect of fine-scale clay drapes on tracer transport. A tracer test was performed in a sandbar deposit consisting of cross-bedded sandy units intercalated with many fine-scale clay drapes. The heterogeneous spatial distribution of the clay drapes causes a spatially variable hydraulic conductivity and sorption coefficient. A fluorescent tracer (sodium naphthionate) was injected in two injection wells and groundwater was sampled and analyzed from five pumping wells. To determine (1) whether the fine-scale clay drapes have a significant effect on the measured concentrations and (2) whether application of multiple-point geostatistics can improve interpretation of tracer tests in media with complex geological heterogeneity, this tracer test is analyzed with a local 3D groundwater flow and transport model in which fine-scale sedimentary heterogeneity is modeled using multiple-point geostatistics. To reduce memory needs and calculation time for the multiple-point geostatistical simulation step, this study uses the technique of "direct multiple-point geostatistical simulation of edge properties". Instead of simulating pixel values, model cell edge properties indicating the presence of irregularly-shaped surfaces are simulated using multiple point geostatistical simulations. Results of a sensitivity analysis show under which conditions clay drapes have a significant effect on the concentration distribution. Calibration of the model against measured concentrations from the tracer tests reduces the uncertainty on the clay drape parameters. The calibrated model shows which features of the breakthrough curves can be attributed to the geological heterogeneity of the aquifer and which features are caused by other processes. [less ▲]

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

in Hydrology & Earth System Sciences (2013), 17

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

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

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See detailThe usefulness of outcrop analogue air permeameter measurements for analyzing aquifer heterogeneity: quantifying outcrop hydraulic conductivity and its spatial variability
Rogiers, Bart; Beerten, Koen; Smeekens, Tuur et al

in Hydrological Processes (2013)

Saturated hydraulic conductivity (K) is one of the most important parameters determining groundwater flow and contaminant transport in both unsaturated and saturated porous media. Although several well ... [more ▼]

Saturated hydraulic conductivity (K) is one of the most important parameters determining groundwater flow and contaminant transport in both unsaturated and saturated porous media. Although several well-established laboratory methods exist for determining K, in situ measurements of this parameter remain very complex and scale dependent. Often, the limited accessibility of subsurface sediments for sampling means an additional impediment to our ability to quantify subsurface K heterogeneity. One potential solution is the use of outcrops as analogues for subsurface sediments. This paper investigates the use of air permeameter measurements on outcrops of unconsolidated sediments to quantify K and its spatial heterogeneity on a broad range of sediment types. The Neogene aquifer in northern Belgium is used as a case study for this purpose. To characterize the variability in K, 511 small-scale air permeability measurements were performed on outcrop sediments representative over five of the aquifer’s lithostratigraphic units. From these measurements, outcrop-scale equivalent K tensors were calculated using numerical upscaling techniques. Validation of the air permeameter-based K values by comparison with laboratory constant head K measurements reveals a correlation of 0.93. Overall, the results indicate that hand-held air permeameters are very efficient and accurate tools to characterize saturated K, as well as its small-scale variability and anisotropy on a broad range of unconsolidated sediments. The studied outcrops further provided a qualitative understanding of aquifer hydrostratigraphy and quantitative estimates about K variability at the centimetre-scale to metre-scale. [less ▲]

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See detailMulti-scale aquifer characterization and groundwater flow model parameterization using direct push technologies
Rogiers, Bart; Vienken, T; Batelaan, Okke et al

in Novel Methods for Subsurface Characterization and Monitoring: From Theory to Practice (2013, May)

Groundwater flow and contaminant transport models are used to support decision making regarding waste disposal options, sites contaminated by surface or subsurface sources, or to develop and test cost ... [more ▼]

Groundwater flow and contaminant transport models are used to support decision making regarding waste disposal options, sites contaminated by surface or subsurface sources, or to develop and test cost-effective groundwater remediation schemes. Such models are influenced by different sources of uncertainty, including those due to spatial variability in aquifer and aquitard properties including hydraulic conductivity (K). However, quantifying spatial variability in K remains challenging. Classical drilling techniques for shallow heterogeneous unconsolidated sedimentary deposits involving continuous coring are expensive and time-consuming, especially when the area of interest exceeds several tens of km². Alternative techniques such as direct push technologies use hydraulic rams, supplemented with vehicle weight, or high-frequency hammering, to advance small-diameter tools into the subsurface. These tools are typically used for cost-effective geotechnical characterization of unconsolidated deposits; recent developments also allow for hydraulic characterization. The depth of investigation is up to ~40 m, depending on the tools used (i.e applied load) and sediment properties (friction). Up to now, only a limited number of studies document using this type of data to parameterize regional groundwater flow models. To fill this gap, this study aims at parameterizing a regional groundwater flow model using data from various types of direct push technologies. We discuss the characterization of an area (~60 km²) near the nuclear zone of Mol/Dessel (Belgium), using various direct push technologies. Most of the measurements are concentrated in an area of 200×400 m². The data include 265 cone penetration tests (CPTs), 113 pore pressure dissipation tests (PPDTs), 17 direct push injection logs (DPIL), 6 hydraulic profiling tool (HPT) logs and 19 direct push slug tests (DPST). Resulting K values, either calculated or estimated, and the corresponding spatial variability are compared with that of borehole and outcrop studies. The benefit of using standard CPT data for the parameterization of an aquitard at the study site has previously been shown. The approach is now applied to the aquifer units and incorporates new direct push data for the entire upper ~40 m of the hydrogeological domain. The effect of the 3D heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity field on the performance of the groundwater flow model is discussed; the value of the different direct push technologies is equally addressed. [less ▲]

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See detailDerivation of flow and transport parameters from outcropping sediments of the Neogene aquifer, Belgium
Rogiers, Bart; Beerten, K.; Smeekens, T. et al

in Geologica Belgica (2013), 16(3), 129-147

Centimetre-scale saturated hydraulic conductivities (K) are derived from air permeability measurements on a selection of outcrops of the Neogene aquifer in the Campine area, Belgium. Outcrop sediments are ... [more ▼]

Centimetre-scale saturated hydraulic conductivities (K) are derived from air permeability measurements on a selection of outcrops of the Neogene aquifer in the Campine area, Belgium. Outcrop sediments are of Miocene to Quaternary age and have a marine to continental origin. Grain size analyses for the same outcrops and corresponding K predictions using previously developed models are also presented. We discuss outcrop hydrogeological properties and quantify the heterogeneity within the outcrops in detail using geostatistical variography. Moreover, outcrop-scale K values, their anisotropy and dispersivities are numerically calculated as a means to upscale such small-scale measurements to a larger scale commensurate with the scale of flow and transport modelling. By studying the small-scale variability as observed in outcrops, we gain crucial understanding of the larger-scale behaviour of the corresponding hydrogeological units within the Neogene aquifer, the most important groundwater reservoir of Flanders. The results of this study will equally improve conceptual hydrogeological model building and parameterization. [less ▲]

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See detailThe effect of heterogeneity of diffusion parameters on chloride transport in low-permeability argillites
Huysmans, Marijke; Dassargues, Alain ULg

in Environmental Earth Sciences (2013), 68(7), 1835-1848

Understanding flow and transport in low-permeability media is very important in the context of nuclear waste disposal, oil and gas reservoirs and long term evolution of groundwater systems. In low ... [more ▼]

Understanding flow and transport in low-permeability media is very important in the context of nuclear waste disposal, oil and gas reservoirs and long term evolution of groundwater systems. In low-permeability media, transport by diffusion is often the most important mass transport process. This study investigates the effect of the heterogeneity of diffusion parameters on mass transport in low-permeability media. A geostatistical approach for integrating heterogeneity of diffusion parameters in groundwater flow and transport models is proposed and applied to the Toarcian argillites in France which are studied in the framework of feasibility of storing radioactive waste in deep clayey massifs. Stochastic fields of the diffusion parameters of the Toarcian argillites (France) are generated based on 64 measured values of diffusion coefficient and diffusion accessible porosity and used as input for a 3D local-scale groundwater flow and transport model. The chloride concentrations computed by these heterogeneous models are compared to the measured chloride concentrations and to concentrations calculated with a model in which the Toarcian argillites are subdivided into several homogeneous zones. The heterogeneous simulations result in a slightly better correspondence between measured and calculated values and have the additional advantage that the measured diffusion coefficient values in the Toarcian are perfectly honored in the model. This study shows that small-scale variability of diffusion parameters has a significant effect on solute concentrations and omitting this heterogeneity may be a problem in transport calculations in low-permeability media, depending on the specific setting and objectives of the study. [less ▲]

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See detailThe usefulness of CPTs for deterministic, spatially heterogeneous, large-scale aquitard parametrisation
Rogiers, Bart; Mallants, Dirk; Batelaan, Okke et al

in Oswald, S.E.; Kolditz, O.; Attinger, S. (Eds.) Models - Repositories of Knowledge (2012, December)

Aquitards can be effectively parameterised and incorporated in a groundwater flow model by using standard cone penetration tests (CPTs). Several conceptually different realizations of an aquitard’s ... [more ▼]

Aquitards can be effectively parameterised and incorporated in a groundwater flow model by using standard cone penetration tests (CPTs). Several conceptually different realizations of an aquitard’s hydraulic conductivity field were evaluated based on: (i) conventional methods of soil behaviour type classification, (ii) recent relationships from the literature, and (iii) novel site-specific relations with hydraulic conductivity. We show that use of most of these CPT-based hydraulic conductivity estimations in groundwater flow modelling effectively enhance model performance based on absolute head values and gradients across the aquitard. Conceptual models that considered a spatially heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity for the aquitard performed better than the reference case with a uniform aquitard hydraulic conductivity. However, the hydraulic conductivity of thin heavy clay lenses, characteristic of the aquitard present in our study area, cannot be captured using these continuum approaches. The latter leads to a bias in the direct hydraulic conductivity predictions; an alternative is to invoke inverse modelling with the heterogeneous parameter fields. To address this issue, the concept of the boundary energy associated with the CPT signal is also introduced for characterising the presence of heavy clay lenses. Overall, the CPT-based concepts provide more accurate, robust, and high-resolution data-based parameterisation of the studied aquitard. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling the effect of clay drapes on pumping test response in a cross-bedded aquifer using multiple-point geostatistics
Huysmans, Marijke; Dassargues, Alain ULg

in Journal of Hydrology (2012), 450-451

This study investigates whether fine-scale clay drapes can cause an anisotropic pumping test response at a much larger scale. A pumping test was performed in a sandbar deposit consisting of cross-bedded ... [more ▼]

This study investigates whether fine-scale clay drapes can cause an anisotropic pumping test response at a much larger scale. A pumping test was performed in a sandbar deposit consisting of cross-bedded units composed of materials with different grain sizes and hydraulic conductivities. The measured drawdown values in the different observation wells reveal an anisotropic or elliptically-shaped pumping cone. The major axis of the pumping ellipse is parallel with the strike of cm to m-scale clay drapes that are observed in several outcrops. To determine (1) whether this large-scale anisotropy can be the result of fine-scale clay drapes and (2) whether application of multiple-point geostatistics can improve interpretation of pumping tests, this pumping test is analyzed with a local 3D groundwater model in which fine-scale sedimentary heterogeneity is modelled using multiple-point geostatistics. To reduce CPU and RAM demand of the multiple-point geostatistical simulation step, edge properties indicating the presence of irregularly-shaped surfaces are directly simulated. Results show that the anisotropic pumping cone can be attributed to the presence of the clay drapes. Incorporating fine-scale clay drapes results in a better fit between observed and calculated drawdowns. These results thus show that fine-scale clay drapes can cause an anisotropic pumping test response at a much larger scale and that the combined approach of multiple-point geostatistics and cell edge properties is an efficient method for integrating fine-scale features in larger scale models. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimation of hydraulic conductivity and its uncertainty from grain-size data using GLUE and artificial neural networks
Rogiers, Bart; Mallants, Dirk; Batelaan, Okke et al

in Mathematical Geosciences (2012), 44(6), 739-763

Various approaches exist to relate saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) to grain-size data. Most methods use a single grain-size parameter and hence omit the information encompassed by the entire grain ... [more ▼]

Various approaches exist to relate saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) to grain-size data. Most methods use a single grain-size parameter and hence omit the information encompassed by the entire grain-size distribution. This study compares two data-driven modelling methods, i.e.multiple linear regression and artificial neural networks, that use the entire grain-size distribution data as input for Ks prediction. Besides the predictive capacity of the methods, the uncertainty associated with the model predictions is also evaluated, since such information is important for stochastic groundwater flow and contaminant transport modelling. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) are combined with a generalized likelihood uncertainty estimation (GLUE) approach to predict Ks from grain-size data. The resulting GLUE-ANN hydraulic conductivity predictions and associated uncertainty estimates are compared with those obtained from the multiple linear regression models by a leave-one-out cross-validation. The GLUE-ANN ensemble prediction proved to be slightly better than multiple linear regression. The prediction uncertainty, however, was reduced by half an order of magnitude on average, and decreased at most by an order of magnitude. This demonstrates that the proposed method outperforms classical data-driven modelling techniques. Moreover, a comparison with methods from literature demonstrates the importance of site specific calibration. The dataset used for this purpose originates mainly from unconsolidated sandy sediments of the Neogene aquifer, northern Belgium. The proposed predictive models are developed for 173 grain-size -Ks pairs. Finally, an application with the optimized models is presented for a borehole lacking Ks data. [less ▲]

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See detailAir permeametry on outcrop analogues: a composite image of the Neogene aquifer, Belgium
Rogiers, Bart; Beerten, K.; Smekens, T. et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 14, EGU2012-1788-1 (2012, May)

Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) is one of the most important parameters determining groundwater flow and contaminant transport in both unsaturated and saturated porous media. While several well ... [more ▼]

Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) is one of the most important parameters determining groundwater flow and contaminant transport in both unsaturated and saturated porous media. While several well-established laboratory methods exist for determining Ks, in-situ measurements of this parameter remain very complex. Since the 50’s, and increasingly from the late 80’s, air permeameters are being used effectively as an indirect method to determine Ks on outcrop sediments. In this paper, the heterogeneity within outcrop sediments that are analogues for the Neogene aquifer hydrostratigraphic units in northern Belgium is studied with a hand-held air permeameter. This aquifer, representing a major groundwater source, consists of several sandy geological units from Miocene to Pleistocene age with a marine to continental origin. Moreover, it plays an important role in the Belgian deep geological radwaste disposal studies, and is the subject of a safety assessment for a future low-level radwaste surface repository. To characterise the variability between and within the different lithostratigraphical aquifer units, 804 air permeability measurements at cm-scale were performed on several outcrops that are analogues for the sandy aquifer sediments and a highly heterogeneous aquitard. Equivalent meter-scale Ks tensors were calculated numerically through the law of flow conservation to obtain the vertical anisotropy factor. The off-diagonal tensor components were shown to be negligible. To validate the air permeametry data, 18 additional constant head permeameter tests on 100 cm3 cores and 27 grain size analyses based Ks assessments were performed on outcrop material. The comparison indicates that hand-held air permeameters are very effective and useful tools to characterise the magnitude of hydraulic conductivity, as well as it’s small-scale variability and anisotropy, on a broad range of sediment types. However, a comparison with data from a previous borehole campaign on similar though not identical aquifer sediments reveals that the Ks values predicted at the outcrops are systematically higher by at least a factor of 10 than the corresponding Ks distributions determined from the borehole cores. One explanation is the weathering state of several-cm thick clay lenses, i.e. much less weathered in the aquitard than in the analogous outcrop with correspondingly lower conductivities for the aquitard. This shows that transferring outcrop data to the subsurface should be done with care because of different degrees of compaction, weathering states, etc. [less ▲]

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See detailCentimeter-scale secondary information on hydraulic conductivity using a hand-held air permeameter on borehole cores
Rogiers, Bart; Winters, P.; Huysmans, Marijke et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 14, EGU2012-1794-1 (2012, May)

Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) is one of the most important parameters determining groundwater flow and contaminant transport in both unsaturated and saturated porous media. Determining the small ... [more ▼]

Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) is one of the most important parameters determining groundwater flow and contaminant transport in both unsaturated and saturated porous media. Determining the small-scale variability of this parameter is key to evaluate implications on effective parameters at the larger scale. Moreover, for stochastic simulations of groundwater flow and contaminant transport, accurate models on the spatial variability of Ks are very much needed. While several well-established laboratory methods exist for determining Ks, investigating the small-scale variability remains a challenge. If several tens to hundreds of metres of borehole core has to be hydraulically characterised at the centimetre to decimetre scale, several hundreds to thousands of Ks measurements are required, which makes it very costly and time-consuming should traditional methods be used. With reliable air permeameters becoming increasingly available from the late 80’s, a fast and effective indirect method exists to determine Ks. Therefore, the use of hand-held air permeameter measurements for determining very accurate small-scale heterogeneity about Ks is very appealing. Very little is known, however, on its applicability for borehole cores that typically carry a small sediment volume. Therefore, the method was tested on several borehole cores of different size, originating from the Campine basin, Northern Belgium. The studied sediments are of Miocene to Pleistocene age, with a marine to continental origin, and consist of sand to clayey sand with distinct clay lenses, resulting in a Ks range of 7 orders of magnitude. During previous studies, two samples were taken from borehole cores each two meters for performing constant head lab permeameter tests. This data is now used as a reference for the air permeameter measurements that are performed with a resolution of 5 centimetres. Preliminary results indicate a very good correlation between the previously gathered constant head Ks data and the air permeability measurements, but a systematic bias seems to exist. A geostatistical analysis with cross-validation is performed to assess the predictive uncertainty on Ks, using both types of data. We conclude that performing hand-held air permeameter measurements on undisturbed borehole cores provides a very cost-effective way to obtain very detailed information in the framework of stochastic simulation and conditioning of heterogeneous hydraulic conductivity fields. [less ▲]

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See detailRelationship between sedimentary features and permeability at different scales in the Brussels Sands
Possemiers, Mathias; Huysmans, Marijke; Peeters, Luk et al

in Geologica Belgica (2012), 15(3), 156-164

The Brussels Sands display a complex three-dimensional subsurface architecture. This sedimentological heterogeneity induces a highly heterogeneous spatial distribution of hydrogeological parameters at ... [more ▼]

The Brussels Sands display a complex three-dimensional subsurface architecture. This sedimentological heterogeneity induces a highly heterogeneous spatial distribution of hydrogeological parameters at different scales and may consequently influence subsurface fluid flow and solute migration. This study aims at characterizing spatial variability of permeability at different scales in the Brussels Sands. Firstly, a literature review on the permeability distribution of the Brussels Sands was performed. Secondly, a field campaign was carried out consisting of field observations of the small-scale sedimentary structures and in situ measurements of air permeability. A total of 6550 cm-scale air permeability measurements were carried out in situ in three Brussels Sands quarries in the central part of Belgium: Bierbeek, Mont Saint Guibert and Chaumont Gistoux. On the large basin scale, substantial differences in permeability are observed. A literature data analysis shows that there is no clear correlation between hydraulic conductivity and sedimentary facies. At the small scale, results show that permeability heterogeneity and anisotropy are strongly influenced by sedimentary heterogeneity in all three quarries. Clay-rich sedimentary features such as bottomsets and distinct mud drapes exhibit a different statistical and geostatistical permeability distribution compared to the cross-bedded lithofacies, where the permeability anisotropy is dominated by the foreset lamination orientation. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect multiple-point geostatistical simulation of edge properties for modeling thin irregularly-shaped surfaces
Huysmans, Marijke; Dassargues, Alain ULg

in Mathematical Geosciences (2011), 43

Thin irregularly-shaped surfaces such as clay drapes often have a major control on flow and transport in heterogeneous porous media. Clay drapes are often complex curvilinear 3-dimensional surfaces and ... [more ▼]

Thin irregularly-shaped surfaces such as clay drapes often have a major control on flow and transport in heterogeneous porous media. Clay drapes are often complex curvilinear 3-dimensional surfaces and display a very complex spatial distribution. Variogram-based stochastic approaches are often also not able to describe the spatial distribution of clay drapes since complex, curvilinear, continuous and interconnected structures cannot be characterized using only two-point statistics. Multiple-point geostatistics aims to overcome the limitations of the variogram. The premise of multiple-point geostatistics is to move beyond two-point correlations between variables and to obtain (cross) correlation moments at three or more locations at a time using "training images" to characterize the patterns of geological heterogeneity. Multiple-point geostatistics can reproduce thin irregularly-shaped surfaces such as clay drapes but is often computationally very intensive. This paper describes and applies a methodology to simulate thin irregularly-shaped surfaces with a smaller CPU and RAM demand than the conventional multiple-point statistical methods. The proposed method uses edge properties for indicating the presence of thin irregularly-shaped surfaces. This method allows directly simulating edge properties instead of pixel properties to make it possible to perform multiple-point geostatistical simulations with a larger cell size and thus a smaller computation time and memory demand. [less ▲]

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