A borehole testing apparatus has been designed to isolate discrete intervals of a bedrock borehole and conduct hydraulic tests or collect water samples for geochemical analyses. This borehole testing apparatus, referred to as the Multifunction Bedrock-Aquifer Transportable Testing Tool (BAT3), includes two borehole packers, which when inflated can form a pressure-tight seal against smooth borehole walls; a pump apparatus to withdraw water from between the two packers; a fluid-injection apparatus to inject water between the two packers; pressure transducers to monitor fluid pressure between the two packers, as well as above and below the packers; flowmeters to monitor rates of fluid withdrawal or fluid injection; and data-acquisition equipment to record and store digital records from the pressure transducers and flowmeters. The generic design of this apparatus was originally discussed in United States Patent Number 6,761,062 (Shapiro, 2004). The prototype of the apparatus discussed in this report is designed for boreholes that are approximately 6 inches in diameter and can be used to depths of approximately 300 feet below land surface. The apparatus is designed to fit in five hard plastic boxes that can be shipped by overnight freight car-riers. The equipment can be assembled rapidly once it is removed from the shipping boxes, and the length of the test interval (the distance between the two packers) can be adjusted to account for different borehole conditions without reconfiguring the downhole components.
The downhole components of the Multifunction BAT3 can be lowered in a borehole using steel pipe or a cable; a truck mounted winch or a winch and tripod can be used for this purpose. The equipment used to raise and lower the downhole components of the Multifunction BAT3 must be supplied on site, along with electrical power, a compressor or cylinders of compressed gas to inflate the packers and operate downhole valves, and the proper length of tubing to connect the packers, the submersible pump, and other downhole components to land surface.
Borehole geophysical logging must be conducted prior to deploying the Multifunction BAT3 in bedrock boreholes. In particular, it is important to identify the borehole diameter as a function of depth to avoid placing the packers over rough sections of the borehole, where they may be damaged during inflation. In addition, it is advantageous to identify the location of fractures intersecting the borehole wall, for example, using an acoustic televiewer log or a borehole camera. A knowledge of fracture locations is helpful in designing the length of the test interval and the locations where hydraulic tests and geochemical sampling are to be conducted.
The Multifunction BAT3 is configured to conduct both fluid-injection and fluid-withdrawal tests. Fluid-injection tests are used to estimate the hydraulic properties of low-permeability fractures intersecting the borehole. The lower limit of the transmissivity that can be estimated using the configuration of the Multifunction BAT3 described in this report is approximately 10-3 square feet per day (ft2/d). Fluid-withdrawal tests are used to collect water samples for geochemical analyses and estimate the hydraulic properties of high-permeability fractures intersecting the borehole. The Multifunction BAT3 is configured with a submersible pump that can support pumping rates ranging from approximately 0.05 to 2.5 gallons per minute, and the upper limit of the of the transmissivity that can be estimated is approximately 104 ft2/d. The Multifunction BAT3 also can be used to measure the ambient hydraulic head of a section of a bedrock borehole, and to conduct single-hole tracer tests by injecting and later withdrawing a tracer solution.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Characterizing Hydraulic Properties and Ground-Water Chemistry in Fractured-Rock Aquifers: A User's Manual for the Multifunction Bedrock-Aquifer Transportable Testing Tool (BAT3)