Water flow estimation in fractured and porous aquifers
Key challenges in a nutshell
- Predicting the groundwater flow with minimally invasive methods.
- Quantify the flux directions
- Long-term monitoring
- Distributed monitoring
Short description of the technology
The apparatus should be able to quantify and monitor the groundwater fluxes surrounding the infrastructure of the Einstein Telescope (tunnels, shafts and cavities) while being minimally non-invasive. Ideally, the system will give access to the magnitude of the flow but also to its direction.
State of the Art: technology in existing gravitational wave detectors / TRL
Different methods and tools currently exist : the Borehole dilution test (like the FVPDM), the GeoFlometer, Colloidal Borescope, the Laser Doppler Velocimeter, The Passive Flux Meter, the In Situ Permeable Flow sensor, the Point Velocity Probe, the In Well Point Velocity Probe.
In terms of purely non-invasive methods, the self-potential method has proven to have the capacity under certain conditions to be related to the groundwater fluxes.
Intended use in the frame of the Einstein Telescope
Groundwater flow is a critical component of underground infrastructure. Water flow as part of a drainage system inside tunnels might potentially act as a source of gravity noise and groundwater itself constitutes a possible hazard scenario for deep infrastructures. It is therefore important to continuously monitor its evolution.
Improvements needed: Technological challenge for the Einstein Telescope
One challenge lies in the quantification of the fluxes direction, in the development of non-invasive systems, in the long-term monitoring and in having a distributed system capable of measuring the groundwater flow over large distances since the subsurface is heterogeneous for example using fiber optics.
Economic perspectives of participation beyond the ET applications
We are open to any companies’ proposals.
Related projects and labs
Ongoing and future procurements
Hydraulic testing and geophysical logging by RWTH includes flow estimation in boreholes.