USGS - science for a changing world

USGS Groundwater Information: Hydrogeophysics Branch

*  Home *  Resources [an error occurred while processing this directive] *  Equipment *  Research *  Publications [an error occurred while processing this directive] *  Training *  About *  Contact Us *  Groundwater Information

As part of improvements to the USGS Water Resources Mission Area web presence to better serve you, this site is being sunset.
As some content is migrated to new locations, users will be redirected automatically.
In the interim, these pages are not being updated.
If you have questions, please contact the Hydrogeophysics Branch at

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Internal USGS users should bookmark our new HGB internal home page:

Using flowmeter pulse tests to define hydraulic connections in the subsurface: a fractured shale example

J. H. William, USGS, 425 Jordan Road, Troy, NY 12180, USA, and
F. L. Paillet, USGS, Borehole Geophysics Research Project, Box 25046, MS 403, Denver, CO 80225, USA


Cross-borehole flowmeter pulse tests define subsurface connections between discrete fractures using short stress periods to monitor the propagation of the pulse through the flow system. This technique is an improvement over other cross-borehole techniques because measurements can be made in open boreholes without packers or previous identification of water-producing intervals. The method is based on the concept of monitoring the propagation of pulses rather than steady flow through the fracture network. In this method, a hydraulic stress is applied to a borehole connected to a single, permeable fracture, and the distribution of flow induced by that stress monitored in adjacent boreholes. The transient flow responses are compared to type curves computed for several different types of fracture connections. The shape of the transient flow response indicates the type of fracture connection, and the fit of the data to the type curve yields an estimate of its transmissivity and storage coefficient. The flowmeter pulse test technique was applied in fractured shale at a volatile-organic contaminant plume in Watervliet, New York. Flowmeter and other geophysical logs were used to identify permeable fractures in eight boreholes in and near the contaminant plume using single-borehole flow measurements. Flowmeter cross-hole pulse tests were used to identify connections between fractures detected in the boreholes. The results indicated a permeable fracture network connecting many of the individual boreholes, and demonstrated the presence of an ambient upward hydraulic-head gradient throughout the site.

Download PDF verion of complete paper (1.6MB PDF).

Note: Download free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view PDF files at the Adobe web site.
Visit for free tools that allow visually impaired users to read PDF files.

Final copy as submitted to Journal of Hydrology for publication as: Williams, J.H. and Paillet, F.L., 2002, Using flowmeter pulse tests to define hydraulic connections in the subsurface: a fractured shale example: Journal of Hydrology, v. 265, p. 100-117.

USGS Home [an error occurred while processing this directive]USGS Intranet Water [an error occurred while processing this directive]Water Intranet
Climate and Land Use Change Core Science Systems Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Environmental Health Natural Hazards

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Contact the Hydrogeophysics Branch
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 29-Dec-2016 20:03:31 EST