Integrating distributed temperature sensing and geological characterization to quantify spatiotemporal variability in subsurface heat transport within the critical zone

Yu-Feng Forrest Lin, Andrew Stumpf, Yaqi Luo, Praveen Kumar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This study is designed to investigate how the ambient ground temperature fluctuates with diurnal and seasonal changes under various hydrogeological system variations as part of the Intensively Managed Landscapes-Critical Zone Observatory. A fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (FO-DTS) system is used to measure thermal profiles in two adjacent boreholes situated in a complex glaciated landscape. The test site is located in east-central Illinois on a terminal moraine of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The moraine crosses a buried preglacial bedrock valley that is 50 m deep. The valley fill contains alternating deposits of clayey glacial till and gravelly sand that have varying physical and hydrological properties. In the 100-m-deep borehole, a fiber-optic cable was installed without casing, sealed against the sidewall with grout. This borehole was drilled to the top of bedrock and penetrated a sequence of glacial sediments containing at least two aquifer units. Thick, Early Pleistocene glacial sand and gravel that penetrated near the bedrock forms an aquifer that is part of a regional groundwater system, the Mahomet Aquifer System. The aquifer system is primarily recharged by slow infiltration of surface waters and has been designated by the USEPA as a "Sole Source" of drinking water. At the same location, a second 40-m-deep borehole was drilled through Middle-Late Pleistocene till and fluvioglacial sediment, and a groundwater monitoring well was installed. Fiber-optic cable was attached along the outside of the casing, and the well was screened in a shallower, localized aquifer. At a broad scale, thermal variations in the subsurface appear to be correlated with sediment type. The basal sand and gravel aquifer exhibits a unique thermal profile deviating from patterns at shallower depths. Temperature measurements with 1-m and 0.1 degrees C resolutions have being collected at various temporal scales, ranging from 30-minute to 2-week intervals, since June 2015. The initial data show that the temperature variations in amplitudes and trends are correlated with previous characterizations of the geology and hydrogeological properties. Through continuous collection of data, we hope to understand how subsurface heat transport is correlated with climate change and agricultural practices on a larger temporal scale.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAGU 2015 fall meeting
Volume2015
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • ISGS

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