Friday, September 7, 2012

Ideal Conditions for a Groundwater Survey Prior to Well Drilling

Having a reasonable expectation of finding well water prior to drilling a well is a great benefit for the prospective well owner.  Southwest Groundwater Surveyor uses the Electroseismic method for locating the optimal  well drilling location.

   Briefly, the Electro seismic method, sometimes called Electro Kinetic Surveys (EKS) makes use of a phenomenon, known since the 1950’s, whereby an electrical signal is produced when a seismic wave encounters water within rock pores, such as is the case for an aquifer.  Although the basic Physics of the method has been understood for many years, and numerous field demonstrations have been completed showing the feasibility of the method, it was not until 1996, when a company called Groundflow Ltd. developed and patented very specific electronics and associated techniques required to measure and interpret the EKS signal, making the method more practical.  Using these techniques the EKS signal is recorded using a data recording geometry that significantly minimizes naturally occurring electrical noise.  Groundflow Ltd developed the instrumentation to both record this signal and to process the data, allowing the existence of groundwater, if present, to be inferred along with estimates of its depth and the yield of the aquifer.

Accuracy of interpretation can sometimes be increased if a local well is available whose aquifer depth (top and bottom) and yield are known.  In this case a sounding can be conducted close to the well allowing us to “calibrate” the sound velocities and acoustic attenuation for the particular underlying rock matrix.
The ideal conditions required to effectively collect sufficient data for an accurate survey are as follows:

1. Access to desired survey location by 4 wheel drive vehicle.2. Survey area must be at least 50 feet away from any underground power.3. Surveyors must be able to install 3 ft. long electrodes into the soft ground with minimal rock interference. 

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