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01.09.2014 | Thematic Issue | Ausgabe 5/2014

Environmental Earth Sciences 5/2014

Field characterization and data integration to define the hydraulic heterogeneity of a shallow granular aquifer at a sub-watershed scale

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 5/2014
Autoren:
Daniel Paradis, Laurie Tremblay, René Lefebvre, Erwan Gloaguen, Alfonso Rivera, Michel Parent, Jean-Marc Ballard, Yves Michaud, Patrick Brunet

Abstract

Providing a sound basis for aquifer management or remediation requires that hydrogeological investigations carried out to understand groundwater flow and contaminant transport be based on representative data that capture the heterogeneous spatial distribution of aquifer hydraulic properties. This paper describes a general workflow allowing the characterization of the heterogeneity of the hydraulic properties of granular aquifers at an intermediate scale of a few km2. The workflow involves characterization and data integration steps that were applied on a 12-km2 study area encompassing a decommissioned landfill emitting a leachate plume and its main surface water receptors. The sediments composing the aquifer were deposited in a littoral–sublittoral environment and show evidence of small-scale transitional heterogeneities. Cone penetrometer tests (CPT) combined with soil moisture and electrical resistivity (SMR) measurements were thus used to identify and characterize spatial heterogeneities in hydraulic properties over the study area. Site-specific statistical relationships were needed to infer hydrofacies units and to estimate hydraulic properties from high-resolution CPT/SMR soundings distributed all over the study area. A learning machine approach was used due to the complex statistical relationships between colocated hydraulic and CPT/SMR data covering the full range of aquifer materials. Application of this workflow allowed the identification of hydrofacies units and the estimation of horizontal hydraulic conductivity, vertical hydraulic conductivity and porosity over the study area. The paper describes and discusses data acquisition and integration methodologies that can be adapted to different field situations, while making the aquifer characterization process more time-efficient and less labor-intensive.

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