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ERT data assimilation to characterize aquifer hydraulic conductivity heterogeneity through a heat‐tracing experiment.


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Shariatinik, Benyamin; Gloaguen, Erwan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9400-0276; Raymond, Jasmin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7486-9185; Boutin, Louis‐Charles et Fabien‐Ouellet, Gabriel (2024). ERT data assimilation to characterize aquifer hydraulic conductivity heterogeneity through a heat‐tracing experiment. Near Surface Geophysics , vol. 22 , nº 3. pp. 358-371. DOI: 10.1002/nsg.12288.

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Geothermal energy systems, such as heat pumps relying on aquifers, use renewable sources of energy that are accessible in urban areas. It is necessary to characterize the subsurface hydraulic properties prior to the installation of such systems. In this context, a heat‐tracing experiment is a typical field test that can help with the characterization of the subsurface. During a heat‐tracing experiment, monitoring with downhole temperature sensors, water‐level pressure transducers and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) can be used to help characterize the hydrogeological properties. Previous monitoring tools have shortcomings, such as low‐resolution data and over‐smoothing; thus, they fail to reproduce the heterogeneity of hydrogeological properties. Ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) is a promising tool that can overcome the over‐smoothing problem to replicate the hydrogeological property heterogeneity. In this work, we proposed a new procedure to assimilate time‐lapse cross‐borehole ERT data into a numerical model of groundwater flow and heat transfer, where the groundwater is extracted and heated water is reinjected into an unconfined sandy‐gravel aquifer. The finite element model (FEFLOW 7.3) of groundwater flow and heat transfer is integrated with petrophysical relationship and electrical forward modelling (ResIPy) to estimate cross‐borehole ERT measurements. Then, the estimated apparent resistivity is assimilated to update the hydraulic conductivity model using EnKF. The results of the application of the proposed approach to an experimental site located in Quebec City (Canada) demonstrate that the heterogeneity of K is correctly reproduced as the updated K model is reasonably consistent with the lithological log. In addition, the proposed approach was able to replicate the cross‐borehole ERT field and temperature measurements. The comparison between prior and posterior distribution of K with slug test results shows that the EnKF made the final (assimilated) distribution of K move towards K values inferred with slug tests.

Type de document: Article
Mots-clés libres: electrical resistivity tomography; ensemble Kalman filter; heat-tracing experiment; heterogeneity; hydraulic conductivity
Centre: Centre Eau Terre Environnement
Date de dépôt: 06 févr. 2024 21:18
Dernière modification: 29 mai 2024 12:53
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/14192

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