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Title: Applications of distributed temperature sensing in subsurface hydrology
Author: Read, Tom Oliver Trevett
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 0463
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2016
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In the study of dynamic subsurface processes there is a need to monitor temperature and groundwater fluxes efficiently in both time and space. Distributed Temperature Sensing has recently become more accessible to researchers in Earth Sciences, and allows temperatures to be measured simultaneously, at small intervals, and over large distances along fibre optic cables. The capability of DTS in conjunction with heat injection to detect groundwater fluxes, is assessed in this thesis using a combination of numerical modelling, laboratory tests, and field trials at the Ploemeur research site in Brittany, France. In particular, three methodological approaches are developed: thermal dilution tests, point heating, and the hybrid cable method. A numerical model was developed to assess the sensitivity range of thermal dilution tests to groundwater flow. Thermal dilution tests undertaken at Ploemeur showed lithological contrasts, and allowed the apparent thermal conductivity to be estimated in-situ, but failed to detect previously identified transmissive fractures. The use of DTS to monitor in-well vertical flow is then investigated. This is first using a simple experiment deploying point heating (T-POT), which tracks a parcel of heated water vertically through the borehole. The method allowed for the relatively quick estimation of velocities in the well. The use of heated fibre optics is then trialled, and through a field test was shown to be sensitive to in-well vertical flow. However, the data suffered from a number of artefacts related to the cable installation. To address this, a hybrid cable system was deployed in a flume to determine the sensitivity relationship with flow angle and electrical power input. Additionally, a numerical model was developed, which suggested a lower limit for velocity estimation due to thermal buoyancy. With the emergence of Distributed Acoustic Sensing, fibre optics may become an increasingly practicable and complete solution for monitoring subsurface processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available