Time-lapse Mise-á-la-Masse measurements and modeling for tracer test monitoring in a shallow aquifer.
Maria Teresa Perri, Pantaleone De Vita, Rita Masciale, Ivan Portoghese, Giovanni Battista Chirico, Giorgio Cassiani
Journal of Hydrology, 2018


The main goal of this study is to evaluate the reliability of the Mise-á-la-Masse (MALM) technique associated with saline tracer tests for the characterization of groundwater flow direction and velocity. The experimental site is located in the upper part of the Alento River alluvial plain (Campania Region, Southern Italy). In this paper we present the hydrogeological setting, the experimental setup and the relevant field results. Subsequently, we compare those data against the simulated results obtained with a 3D resistivity model of the test area, coupled with a model describing the Advection – Dispersion equation for continuous tracer injection. In particular, we calculate a series of 3D forward solutions starting from a reference model, all derived from electrical tomography results, but taking into consideration different values of mean flow velocity and directions. Each electrical resistivity 3D model is used to produce synthetic voltage maps for MALM surveys. Finally, the synthetic MALM voltage maps are compared with the ones measured in the field in order to assess the information content of the MALM dataset with respect to the groundwater field characteristics. The results demonstrate that the information content of the MALM data is sufficient to define important characteristics of the aquifer geometry and properties. This work shows how a combination of three-dimensional time-lapse modeling of flow, tracer transport and electrical current can substantially contribute towards a quantitative interpretation of MALM measurements during a saline tracer test. This approach can thus revive the use of MALM as a practical, low cost field technique for tracer test monitoring and aquifer hydrodynamic characterization.

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