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Title: Inert and Adsorptive Tracer Tests for Field Measurement of Flow-Wetted Surface Area

Abstract

Field tests in a discrete rock fracture validated a combined inert/adsorbing tracer test method to estimate the contact area between fluids circulating through a fracture and the bulk rock matrix (i.e., flow-wetted surface area, A). Tracer tests and heat injections occurred at a mesoscale well field in Altona, NY. A subhorizontal bedding plane fracture ~7.6 m below ground surface connects two wells separated by 14.1 m. Recovery of the adsorbing tracer cesium was roughly 72% less than the inert tracer iodide. Using an advection-dispersion-reaction model in one-dimension, the adsorbing/inert tracer method identified substantial flow channelization. These results are consistent with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and thermal sensors. All characterization methods suggest circulating fluids were concentrated in a narrow, 1–2 m wide channel directly connecting the injection and production well. The inert/adsorbing tracer method identified two flow channels with areas of 28 and 80 m 2. A one-dimensional heat transport model predicted production well temperature rises 20.5°C in 6 days, whereas measured temperature rise was 17.6°C. For comparison, two-dimensional heat transport through a fracture of uniform aperture (i.e., homogeneous permeability) predicted roughly 670 days until production well temperature would rise 17.6°C. This suggests that the use of a fracture of uniformmore » aperture to predict heat transport may drastically overpredict the thermal performance of a geothermal system. In the context of commercial geothermal reservoirs, the results of this study suggest that combined inert/adsorbing tracer tests could predict production well thermal draw-down, leading to improved reservoir monitoring and management.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]
  1. Stanford Univ., CA (United States)
  2. California State Univ., Long Beach, CA (United States)
  3. Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
California State Univ. (CalState), Long Beach, CA (United States); Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Office of Technology Development (EE-20); USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Renewable Power Office. Geothermal Technologies Office
OSTI Identifier:
1539737
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1464869
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0006763; EE0006764; DE EE0006764; DE EE0006763
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 54; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Marine & Freshwater Biology; Water Resources

Citation Formats

Hawkins, Adam J., Becker, Matthew W., and Tester, Jefferson W. Inert and Adsorptive Tracer Tests for Field Measurement of Flow-Wetted Surface Area. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2017wr021910.
Hawkins, Adam J., Becker, Matthew W., & Tester, Jefferson W. Inert and Adsorptive Tracer Tests for Field Measurement of Flow-Wetted Surface Area. United States. doi:10.1029/2017wr021910.
Hawkins, Adam J., Becker, Matthew W., and Tester, Jefferson W. Wed . "Inert and Adsorptive Tracer Tests for Field Measurement of Flow-Wetted Surface Area". United States. doi:10.1029/2017wr021910. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1539737.
@article{osti_1539737,
title = {Inert and Adsorptive Tracer Tests for Field Measurement of Flow-Wetted Surface Area},
author = {Hawkins, Adam J. and Becker, Matthew W. and Tester, Jefferson W.},
abstractNote = {Field tests in a discrete rock fracture validated a combined inert/adsorbing tracer test method to estimate the contact area between fluids circulating through a fracture and the bulk rock matrix (i.e., flow-wetted surface area, A). Tracer tests and heat injections occurred at a mesoscale well field in Altona, NY. A subhorizontal bedding plane fracture ~7.6 m below ground surface connects two wells separated by 14.1 m. Recovery of the adsorbing tracer cesium was roughly 72% less than the inert tracer iodide. Using an advection-dispersion-reaction model in one-dimension, the adsorbing/inert tracer method identified substantial flow channelization. These results are consistent with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and thermal sensors. All characterization methods suggest circulating fluids were concentrated in a narrow, 1–2 m wide channel directly connecting the injection and production well. The inert/adsorbing tracer method identified two flow channels with areas of 28 and 80 m2. A one-dimensional heat transport model predicted production well temperature rises 20.5°C in 6 days, whereas measured temperature rise was 17.6°C. For comparison, two-dimensional heat transport through a fracture of uniform aperture (i.e., homogeneous permeability) predicted roughly 670 days until production well temperature would rise 17.6°C. This suggests that the use of a fracture of uniform aperture to predict heat transport may drastically overpredict the thermal performance of a geothermal system. In the context of commercial geothermal reservoirs, the results of this study suggest that combined inert/adsorbing tracer tests could predict production well thermal draw-down, leading to improved reservoir monitoring and management.},
doi = {10.1029/2017wr021910},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
issn = {0043-1397},
number = 8,
volume = 54,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
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