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Open AccessArticle

Determining the Relation between Groundwater Flow Velocities and Measured Temperature Differences Using Active Heating-Distributed Temperature Sensing

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Wetsus, European Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Water Technology, Oostergoweg 9, 8911 MA Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
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Department of Watermanagement, Arcadis Nederland B.V., Beaulieustraat 22, 6814 DV Arnhem, The Netherlands
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Department of Subsurface and Groundwater, Deltares, P.O. Box 85467, 3508 Al Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Nelen & Schuurmans, Zakkendragershof 34, 3511 AE Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management, Department of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(8), 1619; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11081619
Received: 12 July 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 5 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Groundwater and Surface Water Monitoring and Management)
Active Heating-Distributed Temperature Sensing (AH-DTS) has the potential to allow for the measurement of groundwater flow velocities in situ. We placed DTS fiber-optic cables combined with a heating wire in direct contact with aquifer sediments in a laboratory scale groundwater flow simulator. Using this setup, we empirically determined the relationship between Δ T , the temperature difference by constant and uniform heating of the DTS cable and the background temperature of the groundwater system, and horizontal groundwater flow velocity. Second, we simulated the observed temperature response of the system using a plan-view heat transfer flow model to calibrate for the thermal properties of the sediment and to optimize cable setup for sensitivity to variation in groundwater flow velocities. Additionally, we derived an analytical solution based on the heat flow equation that can be used to explicitly calculate flow velocity from measured Δ T for this specific AH-DTS cable setup. We expect that this equation, after calibration for cable constitution, is valid for estimating groundwater flow velocity based on absolute temperature differences measured in field applications using this cable setup. View Full-Text
Keywords: distributed temperature sensing; groundwater monitoring; groundwater velocities distributed temperature sensing; groundwater monitoring; groundwater velocities
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Bakx, W.; Doornenbal, P.J.; van Weesep, R.J.; Bense, V.F.; Oude Essink, G.H.P.; Bierkens, M.F.P. Determining the Relation between Groundwater Flow Velocities and Measured Temperature Differences Using Active Heating-Distributed Temperature Sensing. Water 2019, 11, 1619.

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