Understanding Alternative Methods of
Measuring Subsurface Flow
Groundwater flow is complex. Historically, measuring it depended on many calculated factors, including gravitational potential energy, pressure, kinetic energy, and the permeability of the soil (Darcy’s Law). Porous media such as sand and gravel provide pathways for groundwater to move through, and the formation’s hydraulic conductivity determines the rate at which water flows. As such, understanding how pore spaces are connected and how they interact with one another is essential to accurately model aquifer flow – a task made easier thanks to Geotech's Colloidal Borescope with AquaLite software.
Function & Theory
Colloids are tiny particles suspended in aquifers. These particles, which range in size from one nanometer to several hundred nanometers, include clay, organic matter, iron oxide, and other types of fine material. Because these particles are so small, they tend to be carried along with the groundwater flow and stay suspended over time.
The Colloidal Borescope with AquaLite software detects and measures the movement of these particles in order to accurately measure groundwater velocity through high-velocity areas of the subsurface, enabling researchers to develop better models for decision-making around water resource management and protection.