An Application of Hydraulic Tomography to a Large-Scale Fractured Granite Site, Mizunami, Japan

Yuanyuan Zha, Tian Chyi J. Yeh, Walter A. Illman, Tatsuya Tanaka, Patrick Bruines, Hironori Onoe, Hiromitsu Saegusa, Deqiang Mao, Shinji Takeuchi, Jet Chau Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


While hydraulic tomography (HT) is a mature aquifer characterization technology, its applications to characterize hydrogeology of kilometer-scale fault and fracture zones are rare. This paper sequentially analyzes datasets from two new pumping tests as well as those from two previous pumping tests analyzed by Illman et al. (2009) at a fractured granite site in Mizunami, Japan. Results of this analysis show that datasets from two previous pumping tests at one side of a fault zone as used in the previous study led to inaccurate mapping of fracture and fault zones. Inclusion of the datasets from the two new pumping tests (one of which was conducted on the other side of the fault) yields locations of the fault zone consistent with those based on geological mapping. The new datasets also produce a detailed image of the irregular fault zone, which is not available from geological investigation alone and the previous study. As a result, we conclude that if prior knowledge about geological structures at a field site is considered during the design of HT surveys, valuable non-redundant datasets about the fracture and fault zones can be collected. Only with these non-redundant data sets, can HT then be a viable and robust tool for delineating fracture and fault distributions over kilometer scales, even when only a limited number of boreholes are available. In essence, this paper proves that HT is a new tool for geologists, geophysicists, and engineers for mapping large-scale fracture and fault zone distributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-804
Number of pages12
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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