The distribution of fracture permeability in granitic rocks was investigated by measuring the distribution of vertical flow in boreholes during periods of steady pumping. Pumping tests were conducted at two sites chosen to provide examples of moderately fractured rocks near Mirror Lake, New Hampshire and intensely fractured rocks near Oracle, Arizona. A sensitive heat-pulse flowmeter was used for accurate measurements of vertical flow as low as 0.2 liter per minute. Results indicate zones of fracture permeability in crystalline rocks are composed of irregular conduits that cannot be approximated by planar fractures of uniform aperture, and that the orientation of permeability zones may be unrelated to the orientation of individual fractures within those zones.-Authors
Additional publication details
Characterization of fracture permeability with high-resolution vertical flow measurements during borehole pumping.