UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The application of seismic techniques to hydrogeological investigations Jarvis, Kevin Donald Gibson


The objective of this thesis is to demonstrate some new applications of seismic techniques for hydrogeological applications. A compressional-wave, surface-based, reflection seismic technique is used to map aquifer boundaries within a series of Pleistocene near-surface sediments. The interpretation uses both water wells and sequence stratigraphic concepts to identify the boundaries of new and existing aquifers. The use of the cone penetrometer is an integral part of this thesis. The seismic cone is demonstrated to be both cost-effective and reliable for the acquisition of high-quality vertical seismic profile (VSP) data. Other data from the cone, in particular the tip resistance data, are shown to be an integral link for the conversion of shear-wave velocities to values of hydraulic conductivity. Surface-based, shear-wave reflection seismic data are used to image an aquifer contained within Holocene deltaic sediments. A Bayesian inversion of the shear-wave seismic amplitudes (using cone-derived velocities) results in the generation of a two-dimensional profile of shear-wave velocity that is a direct indication of aquifer heterogeneity. Conversion of the velocity to hydraulic conductivity (using a cone-derived relationship) results in the distribution of a key hydrogeologic property within the aquifer. The results from the thesis show significant promise for improving groundwater flow models and providing new techniques for the management and protection of our groundwater resources.

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