Stochastic delineation of wellhead protection area in fractured aquifers and parametric sensitivity study
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In many countries, the setup of protection areas around every drinking water well was instituted at a national level in order to preserve the quality of water as well as the perennially of the resource. Wellhead protection surfaces have been defined using capture zones showing the area influenced by a well within a certain time. A stochastic method is developed for delineating time-related capture zones in fractured aquifers characterised by a low porosity and a high degree of fracturing. The flow velocity within the fractures is determined statistically depending on the distribution of the fracture features and the mass transfer solution is obtained through a particle tracking algorithm. Probabilistic capture zone curves are obtained as a function of the travel time of particles to the well and the percentage of particles apt to be extracted up to this time. A sensitivity study of fracture network parameters leads to the conclusion that orientations and aperture distribution of the fracture sets are of primary importance to the wellhead protection delineation.
KeywordsTravel Time Protection Area Tracking Algorithm Particle Tracking Fracture Network
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