[en] 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. To monitor the geothermal behavior of groundwater systems and to estimate the governing parameters, we rely mainly on borehole observations of the temperature field at a few locations (temperature logs or thermal response test). In analogy to research in hydrogeophysics, geophysical methods may be useful in order to yield additional information for thermal properties estimation 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 10.5°C aquifer. Since bulk electrical resistivity variations can bring important information on temperature changes in aquifers (water electrical conductivity increases about 2%/°C around 25°C), we monitored the test with surface electrical resistivity tomography and demonstrate its ability to monitor spatially temperature variations. Time-lapse electrical image clearly show the decrease and then the increase in bulk electrical 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 (using SEAWAT). 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. This field work demonstrates that surface electrical 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. Moreover, sensitivity analyses and collinear diagnostic were used to assess the pertinence of the flow and heat model parameters. The most sensitive parameter is the conductivity of the solid followed by the porosity, heat capacity of the solid and the longitudinal dispersivity. This indicates the predominance of conductive transport during the storage phase over the convective transport during the injection phase. These values rely only on temperature logs and more parameters could be derived or more robust values could be achieved with the use of geophysical data in a coupled inversion scheme.
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS