skip to main content


Title: A novel muon detector for borehole density tomography

Muons can be used to image the density of materials through which they pass, including geological structures. Subsurface applications of the technology include tracking fluid migration during injection or production, with increasing concern regarding such timely issues as induced seismicity or chemical leakage into aquifers. Current density monitoring options include gravimetric data collection and active or passive seismic surveys. One alternative, or complement, to these methods is the development of a muon detector that is sufficiently compact and robust for deployment in a borehole. Such a muon detector can enable imaging of density structure to monitor small changes in density – a proxy for fluid migration – at depths up to 1500 m. Such a detector has been developed, and Monte Carlo modeling methods applied to simulate the anticipated detector response. Testing and measurements using a prototype detector in the laboratory and shallow underground laboratory demonstrated robust response. Lastly, a satisfactory comparison with a large drift tube-based muon detector is also presented.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  3. Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI (United States)
  4. Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-120973; LA-UR-16-27062; PNNL-SA-120937
Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002; PII: S0168900217300232; TRN: US1700906
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830; AC52-06NA25396; AC05-76-RL01830; LA-UR-16-27062
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A, Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 851; Journal ID: ISSN 0168-9002
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
Contributing Orgs:
Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI (United States); Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
46 INSTRUMENTATION RELATED TO NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY; muon detection; subsurface fluid injection; carbon storage; GEANT4; plastic scintillator; density tomography; muon detection, subsurface fluid injection, carbon storage, GEANT4, plastic scintillator, density tomography
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1344364; OSTI ID: 1379951; OSTI ID: 1397837