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Article

Comparison of Microbial Profiling and Tracer Testing for the Characterization of Injector-Producer Interwell Connectivities

1
Department of Energy and Power Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
2
Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
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Department of Earth System Science, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
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Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
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School of Natural Sciences, Black Hills State University, Spearfish, SD 57799, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Zhonghe Pang, Fengtian Yang and Pingheng Yang
Water 2022, 14(18), 2921; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14182921
Received: 27 August 2022 / Revised: 14 September 2022 / Accepted: 15 September 2022 / Published: 18 September 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrochemistry and Isotopes in Groundwater Investigations)
Insufficient understanding of the microbial communities and associated microbial processes in geological reservoirs hinders the utilization of this rich data source for improved resource management. In this study, along with four interwell tracer tests at a 1478-m deep fractured crystalline-rock aquifer, we analyzed the microbial communities in the injected and produced water by high-throughput sequencing. The microbial community similarities across boreholes during an interwell flow scenario frequently encountered in reservoir development was explored. Despite the significant tracer recoveries (~30%) in all tracer tests and the cumulatively >100,000 L of exogenous water (carrying exogenous microbes) injected into the 10-m-scale reservoir, the overall structure of produced-fluid microbiome did not increasingly resemble that of the injectate. However, producers with better connectivity with the injector (based on tracer test results) did have more amplicon sequence variants (ASVs) that overlapped with those in the injectate. We identified possible drivers behind our observations and verified the practicality of repeated microbial sampling in the context of reservoir characterization and long-term monitoring. We highlight that injector-producer microbial profiling could provide insights on the relative connectivities across different producers with a given injector, and that the associated logistical needs may be comparable or even less than that of classic tracer tests. View Full-Text
Keywords: reservoir characterization; tracer test; microbial community; microbial profiling; deep subsurface; fractured rock; groundwater; fracture characterization; interwell connectivity; microbial transport reservoir characterization; tracer test; microbial community; microbial profiling; deep subsurface; fractured rock; groundwater; fracture characterization; interwell connectivity; microbial transport
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Y.; Dekas, A.E.; Hawkins, A.J.; Primo, J.C.; Gorbatenko, O.; Horne, R.N. Comparison of Microbial Profiling and Tracer Testing for the Characterization of Injector-Producer Interwell Connectivities. Water 2022, 14, 2921. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14182921

AMA Style

Zhang Y, Dekas AE, Hawkins AJ, Primo JC, Gorbatenko O, Horne RN. Comparison of Microbial Profiling and Tracer Testing for the Characterization of Injector-Producer Interwell Connectivities. Water. 2022; 14(18):2921. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14182921

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Yuran, Anne E. Dekas, Adam J. Hawkins, John Carlo Primo, Oxana Gorbatenko, and Roland N. Horne. 2022. "Comparison of Microbial Profiling and Tracer Testing for the Characterization of Injector-Producer Interwell Connectivities" Water 14, no. 18: 2921. https://doi.org/10.3390/w14182921

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