Monitoring Hot Spring Aquifer Using Repeat Hybrid Micro-gravity Measurements in Beppu Geothermal Field, Japan
Repeat hybrid micro-gravity measurements were conducted to detect the gravity change caused by hot spring water production around Beppu in eastern Kyushu, Japan. An A10 #017 absolute gravimeter (Micro-g LaCoste) and a CG-5 #549 gravimeter (Scintrex) were used for this study in intervals of three to four months at eight gravity stations. According to the results obtained with the absolute gravimetry, a gravity change of up to 33 μgal was detected at the Beppu Geothermal Research Laboratory (BGRL) reference station. The observed absolute gravity was compared with the groundwater level, and there was a good correlation between the gravity changes and the groundwater level changes. Based on the precipitation, groundwater level, and soil character, the effect of the water content changes in the unsaturated zone was estimated precisely by using a Gwater-1D. This calculation can explain that the gravity seasonal changes were caused by the groundwater level changes. After removal of noise effects (e.g., tidal movement, precipitation, and shallow groundwater level changes), the residual gravity changes, which were measured by the relative gravimeter, were subdivided into two types of responses. Gravity changes up to 90 μgal were observed from April 2014 to July 2015. After that, gravity became stable, except for small seasonal changes.
KeywordsGravity change Hot spring reservoir Monitoring Sustainability
This research was financially supported by the project (No. 14200097), entitled “Human-Environment Security in Asia-Pacific Ring of Fire: Water-Energy-Food Nexus,” by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto, Japan.
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