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Title: Improved characterization of heterogeneous permeability in saline aquifers from transient pressure data during freshwater injection

Managing recharge of freshwater into saline aquifers requires accurate estimation of the heterogeneous permeability field for maximizing injection and recovery efficiency. Here we present a methodology for subsurface characterization in saline aquifers that takes advantage of the density difference between the injected freshwater and the ambient saline groundwater. We combine high-resolution forward modeling of density-driven flow with an efficient Bayesian geostatistical inversion algorithm. In the presence of a density difference between the injected and ambient fluids due to differences in salinity, the pressure field is coupled to the spatial distribution of salinity. This coupling renders the pressure field transient: the time evolution of the salinity distribution controls the density distribution which then leads to a time-evolving pressure distribution. We exploit this coupling between pressure and salinity to obtain an improved characterization of the permeability field without multiple pumping tests or additional salinity measurements. We show that the inversion performance improves with an increase in the mixed convection ratio—the relative importance between viscous forces from injection and buoyancy forces from density difference. Thus, our work shows that measuring transient pressure data at multiple sampling points during freshwater injection into saline aquifers can be an effective strategy for aquifer characterization, key tomore » the successful management of aquifer recharge.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. Korea Inst. of Science and Technology, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  2. Stanford Univ., CA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  3. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  4. Korea Inst. of Science and Technology, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)
  5. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
sc0009286; 16AWMP-B066761–04; 2E27030; NSF EEC-1028968
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Water Resources Research
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 53; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0043-1397
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Research Org:
Korea Inst. of Science and Technology (KIST), Seoul (Korea, Republic of)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23). Climate and Environmental Sciences Division; National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF); Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT); National Science Foundation (NSF); U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Lab. (ERDC-CHL); USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21); MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; subsurface imaging; saline aquifer; managed aquifer recharge; density-driven flow; Principal Component Geostatistical Approach
OSTI Identifier:
1423942
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1402337

Kang, Peter K., Lee, Jonghyun, Fu, Xiaojing, Lee, Seunghak, Kitanidis, Peter K., and Juanes, Ruben. Improved characterization of heterogeneous permeability in saline aquifers from transient pressure data during freshwater injection. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1002/2016WR020089.
Kang, Peter K., Lee, Jonghyun, Fu, Xiaojing, Lee, Seunghak, Kitanidis, Peter K., & Juanes, Ruben. Improved characterization of heterogeneous permeability in saline aquifers from transient pressure data during freshwater injection. United States. doi:10.1002/2016WR020089.
Kang, Peter K., Lee, Jonghyun, Fu, Xiaojing, Lee, Seunghak, Kitanidis, Peter K., and Juanes, Ruben. 2017. "Improved characterization of heterogeneous permeability in saline aquifers from transient pressure data during freshwater injection". United States. doi:10.1002/2016WR020089. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1423942.
@article{osti_1423942,
title = {Improved characterization of heterogeneous permeability in saline aquifers from transient pressure data during freshwater injection},
author = {Kang, Peter K. and Lee, Jonghyun and Fu, Xiaojing and Lee, Seunghak and Kitanidis, Peter K. and Juanes, Ruben},
abstractNote = {Managing recharge of freshwater into saline aquifers requires accurate estimation of the heterogeneous permeability field for maximizing injection and recovery efficiency. Here we present a methodology for subsurface characterization in saline aquifers that takes advantage of the density difference between the injected freshwater and the ambient saline groundwater. We combine high-resolution forward modeling of density-driven flow with an efficient Bayesian geostatistical inversion algorithm. In the presence of a density difference between the injected and ambient fluids due to differences in salinity, the pressure field is coupled to the spatial distribution of salinity. This coupling renders the pressure field transient: the time evolution of the salinity distribution controls the density distribution which then leads to a time-evolving pressure distribution. We exploit this coupling between pressure and salinity to obtain an improved characterization of the permeability field without multiple pumping tests or additional salinity measurements. We show that the inversion performance improves with an increase in the mixed convection ratio—the relative importance between viscous forces from injection and buoyancy forces from density difference. Thus, our work shows that measuring transient pressure data at multiple sampling points during freshwater injection into saline aquifers can be an effective strategy for aquifer characterization, key to the successful management of aquifer recharge.},
doi = {10.1002/2016WR020089},
journal = {Water Resources Research},
number = 5,
volume = 53,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {5}
}