Measuring Groundwater Velocity: Method Based on Groundwater Flow-Induced Cooling

Zhiwei Sun, Yue Liang, Tian Chyi Jim Yeh, Xinqiang Niu, Bin Xu, Rifeng Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Groundwater flow velocity, including its magnitude and direction, is a crucial aquifer characteristic that plays a significant role in developing and protecting groundwater resources. Current groundwater measurement technologies yield low flow velocity accuracy and are expensive. This study proposes a new method for in situ measurement of groundwater velocity based on groundwater flow-induced cooling. It utilizes the cooling capability of flowing groundwater on a closed circulation of heated fluid to establish a functional relationship between the temperature difference of heated fluid and groundwater velocity. A series of experiments were conducted in a sandbox to verify this approach. The result shows that the new method can measure the groundwater velocity's magnitude and direction. Within the designed flow rate range (0-1.055 mm/s), the correlation coefficient between the calculated values obtained by the new method and the actual values exceeds 0.97, with only a 0.017 root mean square error and a 0.040 mean absolute error. Further, the method finds a significant sine function relationship between the temperature difference of heated fluid and the direction of groundwater flow, with the correlation coefficient exceeding 0.97.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04023047
JournalJournal of Hydrologic Engineering
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

Keywords

  • Groundwater flow-induced cooling
  • Groundwater velocity
  • Heated fluid
  • Temperature difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science

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