International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia

Tech Talk – Faults from the general to the more specific

Faults, from the general to the specific:

A global assessment of their role in hydrogeology

 

Host: Phil Hayes |  Presenter Titus Murray (online)

 

Faults are such a fundamental aspect of hydrogeology. They can enhance groundwater flowpaths, compartmentalise aquifers or something in between. Titus Murray’s 30+ years of structural geology practice offers unique insights into faulted aquifers. Titus shows that faults are neither singularly sealing nor singularly leaking. Instead, a typical fault is a patchwork of behaviour and properties that depend upon cross-fault juxtapositions and fault rock types. An extensive review of previous published studies (including studies from structural geology, oil and gas geology, and traditional hydrogeology) has been used to test the validity of commonly-used algorithms, demonstrating potential errors in the conceptual modelling of fault zone hydrogeology.

This presentation highlights practical data-gathering and conceptualisation practices that can be used to constrain the key input parameters for flow modelling. It also presents a useful set of end-member schemes for characterising faults’ influence on hydrogeology. The focus will be on simple, repeatable tools to define faults and constrain flow modelling. A radioactive waste and managed aquifer recharge case study are used to illustrate the schemes.

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