Advanced Borehole Radar for Hydrogeology

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 5:00 PM
Motoyuki Sato, Tohoku University, Center for Northeast Asian Studies, Sendai, Japan
Ground Penetrating Radar is a useful tool for monitoring the hydrogeological environment. We have developed GPR systems which can be applied to these purposes, and we will demonstrate examples borehole radar measurements.

In order to have longer radar detection range, frequency lower than100MHz has been normally adopted in borehole radar. Typical subsurface fractures of our interests have a few mm aperture and radar resolution is much poorer than a few cm in this frequency range. We are proposing and demonstrating to use radar polarimetry to solve this problem. We have demonstrated that a full-polarimetry borehole radar can be used for characterization of subsurface fractures. Together with signal processing for antenna characteristic compensation to equalize the signal by a dipole antenna and slot antennas, we could demonstrate that polarimetric borehole radar can estimate the surface roughness of subsurface fractures, We believe the surface roughness is closely related to water permeability through the fractures.

We then developed a directional borehole radar, which uses optical field sensor. A dipole antenna in a borehole has omni-directional radiation pattern, and we cannot get azimuthal information about the scatterers. We use multiple dipole antennas set around the borehole axis, and from the phase differences, we can estimate the 3-diemnational orientation of subsurface structures.

We are using optical electric field sensor for receiver of borehole radar. This is a passive sensor and connected only with optical fibers and does not require any electric power supply to operate the receiver. It has two major advantages; the first one is that the receiver can be electrically isolated from other parts, and wave coupling to a logging cable is avoided. Then, secondary, it can operate for a long time, because it does not require battery installed inside the system. It makes it possible to set sensors in fixed positions to monitor the change of environmental conditions for a long period. We demonstrated this idea using cross- hole borehole radar measurement. We think this method is useful for detecting any changes in hydrogeological situations, which will be useful for subsurface storage such as LNG and nuclear waste.