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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-215
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-215
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Jun 2019

Research article | 05 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

An extended trajectory-mechanics approach for calculating the path of a pressure transient: Hydraulic tomographic imaging

Donald W. Vasco1, Joseph Doetsch2, and Ralf Brauchler3 Donald W. Vasco et al.
  • 1Energy Geosciences Division/Building 74, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 3Waste Disposal and Hydrogeology, AF-Consult Switzerland Ltd, Täfernstrasse 26, Baden, Switzerland CH-5405

Abstract. The application of a technique from quantum dynamics to the governing equation for hydraulic head leads to a trajectory-based solution that is valid for a general porous medium. The semi-analytic expressions for head propagation velocity and the propagation path form the basis of a hydraulic traveltime tomographic imaging algorithm. An application of the imaging algorithm to synthetic arrival times reveals that a crosswell inversion based upon the extended trajectories correctly reproduces the magnitude of a reference model, improving upon an existing asymptotic approach. An inversion of hydraulic head arrival times from crosswell slug tests at the Widen field site in northern Switzerland captures a general decrease in permeability with depth, in agreement with previous studies, but also indicates the presence of a high permeability feature in the upper portion of the crosswell plane.

Donald W. Vasco et al.
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Donald W. Vasco et al.
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Short summary
This paper presents the application of a new approach for calculating the path of a pressure transient in a heterogeneous porous medium containing a slightly compressible fluid. Unlike previous asymptotic approaches the expressions for the path and travel time valid in the presence of rapid variations in material properties. The technique is applied to both synthetic transient pressure variations from a test example and actual field data from a field experiment in Widen Switzerland.
This paper presents the application of a new approach for calculating the path of a pressure...
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