CFM In-situ Testing from 2009 to 2011

Field Tracer Testing 2009 onwards

During 2009 and 2010 a series of tracer migration tests using conservative, bentonite colloid and homologues (trivalent & tetravalent) have been performed in the shear zone between borehole interval  CFM06.002i2 and the Pinkel surface packer.

Source interval CFM 06.002i2

The borehole interval used as the tracer source is located in CFM 06.002 and centred on a brittle fracture in the MI shear zone. Hydraulic tests show a transmissivity of about 10-6 m2/s compared to a large-scale shear zone transmissivity of ~5 x 10-7 m2/s.  The concentration in the interval is controlled by a recirculation loop to the injection cabinet containing a pump, fluorometer, pH, EC and turbidity sensors.  The loop has a volume (including the borehole interval) of 1litre plus the volume of the tracer tank. All lines are made of PEEK to minimise sorption.

Recovery at the Pinkel

Tracer recovery is via the Pinkel surface packer located on a flowing point on the brittle fracture horizon within the MI shear zone.  The surface packer is connected to the tracer extraction cabinet containing sampling lines, fluorometer, pH, EC and turbidity sensors via PEEK lines. An autosampler is used to perform routine background sampling and unattended sampling during testing.

Conservative tracer test Conservative tracer test
52 ml/min extraction from Pinkel
78.8% Uranine recovery at end of test
Homologue/colloid tracer test Homologue/colloid tracer test
48 ml/min extraction from Pinkel
84% Uranine recovery at end of test
Colloid recovery 52-67%
Th (IV) 32 +/- 10%
Hf(IV) 30 +/- 5%
Tb(III)  7 +/- 5%
Eu(III) 14 +/- 3%
Conservative tracer test Conservative tracer test
10 ml/min extraction from Pinkel
90.1% Uranine recovery
95.2% Iodide recovery
Homologue/colloid tracer test Homologue/colloid tracer test
10 ml/min extraction from Pinkel
20.5% Uranine recovery
Colloid recovery varied according to technique. Possibility of mobilisation of additional colloids
Th (IV) 14 +/- 2%
Hf(IV)  6 +/- 2%
Tb(III) 46 +/- 6%
Eu(III) 43 +/- 10%
Conservative tracer test Conservative tracer test
(LiI & Uranine) at 25 ml/min extraction to test recovery at higher rates following 10-03.
Uranine recovery 91.9%
Li recovery 97.6%
I recovery 93.1%
Drilling and completion of near-field monitoring boreholes Feb-July 2011
Packer systems designed for subsequent resin injection and overcoring.
Homologue tracer test
Homologue tracer test
Repeat of test 10-03 using better control of tracer pH and additional conservative tracer (Amino-G).
Monitoring boreholes instrumented but not sampled during test.

Drilling and completion of monitoring boreholes CFM 11.001, CFM 11.002 & CFM 11.003
After emplacement of the bentonite source in CFM 06.002 it is planned to monitor the near field geochemical conditions by sampling the fluid from the shear zone close to the source. To accomplish this 3 new boreholes have been drilled during 2011. The boreholes need to be within the planned overcore so that they can be used for resin injection to stabilise the shear zone and source prior to excavation. Highly accurate drilling was required to ensure that the new boreholes did not intersect CFM 06.002 or depart from the overcore volume.  The planned distance between the boreholes was 40mm and the survey showed that deviations from the planned trajectory were less than 10mm and that all boreholes were contained within the planned overcore volume.

Drilling and completion of monitoring boreholes CFM 11.001, CFM 11.002 & CFM 11.003

Specially designed monitoring packer systems have been installed that can be used for resin injection and sampling and can be overcored.  Interval and sampling line volumes have been minimised to facilitate low flow rate sampling close to the source. All material in the interval and lines is PEEK or coated with PEEK to minimise sorption.  The systems are engineered to allow resin injection at the end of the test prior to overcoring.

Specially designed monitoring packer systems have been installed that can be used for resin injection and sampling and can be overcored

Colloid Formation and Migration Experiment

The GTS underground facilities are also available to interested 3rd parties for underground testing and research. The GTS offers cost-effective access to a fully developed, well characterised underground research facility with round the year logistical support - please contact Dr. Ingo Blechschmidt, Head of the Grimsel Test Site, for further details.
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