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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 sub-stantial 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 20.58C in 6 days, whereas measured temperature rise was 17.68C. 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 17.68C. This suggests that the use of a fracture of uniform aperturemore » 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. Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford CA USA; Stanford University, TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy, Stanford CA USA
  2. Geology Department, California State University, Long Beach, Long Beach CA USA
  3. School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca NY USA; Cornell University, Cornell Energy Institute, Ithaca NY USA
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), Geothermal Technologies Office (EE-4G)
OSTI Identifier:
1539737
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1464869
Grant/Contract Number:  
EE0006763; EE0006764; DE EE0006764; DE EE0006763
Resource Type:
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:
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 sub-stantial 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 20.58C in 6 days, whereas measured temperature rise was 17.68C. 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 17.68C. 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},
number = 8,
volume = 54,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Analysis of tracer test data, and injection-induced cooling, in the Laugaland geothermal field, N-Iceland
journal, December 2001