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Journal Articles Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth Year : 2008

Self-potential signals induced by periodic pumping tests

Elmar Strobach
  • Function : Author
Jörg Renner
  • Function : Author


We measured the variations of the self-potential (SP) during periodic pumping tests performed at a test site located near a freshwater reservoir (Kemnader See, Bochum, Germany). Successions of injection and production intervals were applied in a borehole penetrating a jointed sandstone aquifer. We report the SP observations for tests with periods ranging between 10 and 60 min and flow rates between 10 and 25 L min-1. The SP responses at the surface exhibit the imposed period but are not truly harmonic contrary to the hydraulic pressure and SP measured in monitoring wells. In the grassy zone around the injection well, the amplitude of the SP signals decreases with distance from the injection well (around one order of magnitude at 10 m) in rough agreement with predictions for radial flow in a homogeneous medium around an infinite source. The shape of the SP responses also evolves with distance. Fourier spectral analysis reveals that the surface signals generally contain two main components at the main period and at half the period with the relative weight of the subperiodic components increasing with distance. Furthermore, the characteristics of the SP responses depend on whether the boreholes are left open or closed by packers. The comparison between surface and borehole measurements suggests that nonlinear phenomena are acting, probably related to the saturation and desaturation processes occurring in the vadose zone.
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insu-03603736 , version 1 (10-03-2022)





Alexis Maineult, Elmar Strobach, Jörg Renner. Self-potential signals induced by periodic pumping tests. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, 2008, 113, ⟨10.1029/2007JB005193⟩. ⟨insu-03603736⟩
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