Using borehole geophysics and cross-borehole flow testing to define hydraulic connections between fracture zones in bedrock aquifers

Journal of Applied Geophysics



Nearly a decade of intensive geophysical logging at fractured rock hydrology research sites indicates that geophysical logs can be used to identify and characterize fractures intersecting boreholes. However, borehole-to-borehole flow tests indicate that only a few of the apparently open fractures found to intersect boreholes conduct flow under test conditions. This paper presents a systematic approach to fracture characterization designed to define the distribution of fractures along boreholes, relate the measured fracture distribution to structure and lithology of the rock mass, and define the nature of fracture flow paths across borehole arrays. Conventional electrical resistivity, gamma, and caliper logs are used to define lithology and large-scale structure. Borehole wall image logs obtained with the borehole televiewer are used to give the depth, orientation, and relative size of fractures in situ. High-resolution flowmeter measurements are used to identify fractures conducting flow in the rock mass adjacent to the boreholes. Changes in the flow field over time are used to characterize the hydraulic properties of fracture intersections between boreholes. Application of this approach to an array of 13 boreholes at the Mirror Lake, New Hamsphire site demonstrates that the transient flow analysis can be used to distinguish between fractures communicating with each other between observation boreholes, and those that are hydraulically isolated from each other in the surrounding rock mass. The Mirror Lake results also demonstrate that the method is sensitive to the effects of boreholes on the hydraulic properties of the fractured-rock aquifer. Experiments conducted before and after the drilling of additional boreholes in the array and before and after installation of packers in existing boreholes demonstrate that the presence of new boreholes or the inflation of packers in existing boreholes has a large effect on the measured hydraulic properties of the rock mass surrounding the borehole array. 

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Using borehole geophysics and cross-borehole flow testing to define hydraulic connections between fracture zones in bedrock aquifers
Series title Journal of Applied Geophysics
DOI 10.1016/0926-9851(93)90036-X
Volume 30
Issue 4
Year Published 1993
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 19 p.
First page 261
Last page 279
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