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TitleGeological controls on regional transmissivity anisotropy
AuthorChen, Z; Grasby, S E; Osadetz, K G
Sourcegeofluids vol. 11, 2011 p. 228-241, (Open Access)
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20100373
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS62H/06; 62H/07; 62H/10; 62H/11; 62H/14; 62H/15; 62I/02; 62I/03; 62I/06; 62I/07
AreaRed River; Winnipeg; Rat River
Lat/Long WENS -97.5000 -96.5000 50.3333 49.2500
Subjectshydrogeology; aquifers; groundwater flow; groundwater circulation; groundwater surveys; groundwater regimes; groundwater movement; transmissivity; fracture analyses; fractures; anisotropy
Illustrationslocation maps; graphs; rose diagrams
ProgramGeoscience for Future Energy Resources, Geothermal Assessments
Released2011 04 19
AbstractA variety of data indicate that the Carbonate aquifer in southern Manitoba is a heterogeneous and anisotropic aquifer wherein groundwater flow follows preferred flow path networks. Specific capacity tests show that aquifer transmissivity can vary by up to four orders of magnitude within 1 km. Geostatistical analysis reveals a strong anisotropy in the transmissivity field, with better spatial continuity in NE - SW and NW - SE directions, coincident with the dominant orientations of fractures observed in bedrock exposures. However, discrepancies between the orientation of highest fracture density and best transmissivity continuity suggest that either additional geological factors control the preferred flow network or there is a biased representation of the fracture pattern because all direct fracture observations came from the northern part of the study area. In an effort to investigate whether the geographically biased fracture data set represents the fracture pattern for the whole region, Landsat images and digital elevation maps were processed to extract linear features that may indicate subsurface fracture zones in areas where bedrock is covered by glacial sediments. The results suggest a consistent fracture pattern throughout the study area, indicating that the two observed fracture groups might have gone through different processes in terms of permeability development. Alteration by mineral cementation and dissolution along fracture surfaces may have preferentially improved the fracture permeability in one orientation, while reducing it in the other. The in situ stress field is also believed to play a major role in the preferred regional flow network. This paper discusses the evidence for the preferred flow path network and possible geological factors controlling aquifer anisotropy in this region.