Single-hole GPR reflection imaging of solute transport in a granitic aquifer

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Abstract

[1] Identifying transport pathways in fractured rock is extremely challenging as flow is often organized in a few fractures that occupy a very small portion of the rock volume. We demonstrate that saline tracer experiments combined with single-hole ground penetrating radar (GPR) reflection imaging can be used to monitor saline tracer movement within mm-aperture fractures. A dipole tracer test was performed in a granitic aquifer by injecting a saline solution in a known fracture, while repeatedly acquiring single-hole GPR sections in the pumping borehole located 6 m away. The final depth-migrated difference sections make it possible to identify consistent temporal changes over a 30 m depth interval at locations corresponding to fractures previously imaged in GPR sections acquired under natural flow and tracer-free conditions. The experiment allows determining the dominant flow paths of the injected tracer and the velocity (0.4–0.7 m/min) of the tracer front.

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