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Riley Blais
Riley Blais

Masters Student
Clemson University

I am currently obtaining my Masters Degree in Hydrogeology at Clemson University. I received my undergraduate degree in geology from Clemson University in 2018. I also work full time for an environmental consultant company called Bunnell Lammons Engineering as a geologist/ hydrogeologist.


Using Strain in the Vadose Zone During Sinusoidal-Rate Well Tests to Characterize an Aquifer

Well tests with sinusoidal variation in pumping rate are appealing because of the ability to filter competing signals and they also can be set up with no net removal of water, which is an advantage at contaminated sites. Current methods of interpreting sinusoidal-rate well tests analyze the phase lag and amplitude of pressure signals in the aquifer. An alternative approach could be to measure the stain in the vadose zone instead of or in addition to pressure in the aquifer. The goal of this research is to evaluate the feasibility of using signals from in-situ strain sensors in the vadose zone to characterize sinusoidal-rate well tests. Well tests with a variety of periods and amplitudes were performed using a well completed in an unconfined saprolite aquifer. Vertical strain was measured every meter between 1-7m depth using a distributed optical fiber sensing technique called coherence length gated microwave photonics interferometry.

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