Accuracy of flowmeters measuring horizontal flow in fractured-rock simulators
Laboratory evaluations of flowmeter response to flow in fractured-rock simulators are needed to improve understanding of data collected in field settings. The ability of flowmeters to accurately measure the velocity and direction of water flowing between parallel plates was used as a surrogate for instrument response in fractured-rock aquifers. A colloidal borescope flowmeter and a heat-pulse flowmeter were deployed in a fractured rock simulator with 4-inch and 6-inch inner-diameter, uncased wells with 0.39- and 1.0-inch fracture apertures and groundwater velocities from 35 to 975 ft/d. The colloidal borescope measurements and applied velocities were positively correlated in all wells and apertures (the coefficient of determination [r2] = 0.61–0.89) and most accurately measured direction at higher velocities. The mean directional error in colloidal borescope measurements was less than 17° in 6-inch wells and 31° in the 4-inch wells at velocities between 92 and 958 ft/d. Heat-pulse flowmeter measurements were 0.001 to 0.004 times less than applied rates and may indicate that water was moving around rather than through the instrument's integrated packer. The mean directional error of heat-pulse flowmeter measurements were about 18 and 42° in the 0.39- and 1.0-inch fractures, respectively, for groundwater velocities within the manufacturer's suggested range of application (0.5–100 ft/d). Measurements made at vertical increments and fracture positions in the well using the colloidal borescope indicate that laminar flow occurs within the central 50% of the fracture but measurements above or below are likely affected by eddy currents.
|Accuracy of flowmeters measuring horizontal flow in fractured-rock simulators
|E. Randall Bayless
|Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation
|USGS Publications Warehouse
|Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Water Science Center