Application of the cross-borehole flow method, in which short pumping cycles in one borehole are used to induce time-transient flow in another borehole, demonstrated that a simple hydraulic model can characterize the fracture connections in the bedrock mass between the two boreholes. The analysis determines the properties of fracture connections rather than those of individual fractures intersecting a single borehole; the model contains a limited number of adjustable parameters so that any correlation between measured and simulated flow test data is significant. The test was conducted in two 200-m deep boreholes spaced 21 m apart in the Melechov Granite in the Bohemian-Moravian Highland, Czech Republic. Transient flow was measured at depth stations between the identified transmissive fractures in one of the boreholes during short-term pumping and recovery periods in the other borehole. Simulated flows, based on simple model geometries, closely matched the measured flows. The relative transmissivity and storage of the inferred fracture connections were corroborated by tracer testing. The results demonstrate that it is possible to assess the properties of a fracture flow network despite being restricted to making measurements in boreholes in which a local population of discrete fractures regulates the hydraulic communication with the larger-scale aquifer system.
Additional publication details
Cross-borehole flow analysis to characterize fracture connections in the Melechov Granite, Bohemian-Moravian Highland, Czech Republic