Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Drill Here! Locating Drinking Water Under Challenging Conditions

Date:
February 1, 2009
Source:
Michigan Technological University
Summary:
Volcanic ground is a challenging place to drill water wells. In central Nicaragua, situated on volcanic bedrock, only 3 of every 10 wells drilled produce sufficient water for even one household.

Local residents watch as Jill Bruning (seated) tests a pumping location in central Nicaragua.
Credit: Image courtesy of Michigan Technological University

Volcanic ground is a challenging place to drill water wells. In central Nicaragua, situated on volcanic bedrock, only 3 of every 10 wells drilled produce sufficient water for even one household.

Related Articles


That’s because, in volcanic rock, groundwater flows primarily through fracture zones that can’t be seen on the earth’s surface. Locating those underground fractures can improve the well-drilling success rate dramatically. But up to now, there has been virtually no funding for groundwater exploration and little research into using remote sensors such as satellite images to identify the location of subsurface faults and fractures.

As part of a larger, National Science Foundation-funded research project titled “Remote Sensing for Hazards Mitigation and Resource Protection in Latin America,” a Michigan Technological University graduate student in geological and mining engineering and sciences designed a map using remote sensing images to locate underground fractures.

Jill Bruning, who recently received her Master’s degree from Michigan Tech; faculty advisor John Gierke, an associate professor of geological and mining engineering and sciences; and other students then took the map to Nicaragua for field testing. The goal of their research was to determine which data-processing tools work best with various types of remotely sensed images, field observations and other data to create an effective, efficient method for identifying the best places to drill in challenging terrain.

Bruning’s research asked and answered three questions:

  • What type of image or combination of image types will best detect lineaments, which are surface characteristics that reveal subsurface structures?
  • What processing and interpretation techniques enhance the surface appearance that indicates fracturing below ground?
  • How do lineaments identified from remotely sensed images compare to field observations?

She used several kinds of satellite images and several data-processing techniques, overlaying the results to find areas of coincidence between lineament interpretations from the different images. In addition to developing the method, Bruning determined that RADARSAT-1 products are superior to other types of satellite images because they maximize the topographic or surface features of the ground.

No single type of satellite image identified all the lineaments in the final map. However, says Bruning, the method of employing images from multiple sensors is a low-cost, non-invasive way to improve groundwater exploration in remote and geologically challenging areas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan Technological University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan Technological University. "Drill Here! Locating Drinking Water Under Challenging Conditions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127210243.htm>.
Michigan Technological University. (2009, February 1). Drill Here! Locating Drinking Water Under Challenging Conditions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127210243.htm
Michigan Technological University. "Drill Here! Locating Drinking Water Under Challenging Conditions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090127210243.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins