Hydraulic tomography for detecting fracture zone connectivity

Yonghong Hao, Tian Chyi J. Yeh, Jianwei Xiang, Walter A. Illman, Kenichi Ando, Kuo Chin Hsu, Cheng Haw Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Fracture zones and their connectivity in geologic media are of great importance to ground water resources management as well as ground water contamination prevention and remediation. In this paper, we applied a recently developed hydraulic tomography (HT) technique and an analysis algorithm (sequential successive linear estimator) to synthetic fractured media. The application aims to explore the potential utility of the technique and the algorithm for characterizing fracture zone distribution and their connectivity. Results of this investigation showed that using HT with a limited number of wells, the fracture zone distribution and its connectivity (general pattern) can be mapped satisfactorily although estimated hydraulic property fields are smooth. As the number of wells and monitoring ports increases, the fracture zone distribution and connectivity become vivid and the estimated hydraulic properties approach true values. We hope that the success of this application may promote the development and application of the new generations of technology (i.e., hydraulic, tracer, pneumatic tomographic surveys) for mapping fractures and other features in geologic media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-192
Number of pages10
JournalGround water
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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