2024 Darcy Lecture: Fiber Optic Distributed Sensing as a Window on Subsurface Flow

Wednesday, March 6, 2024 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)
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The advancement of fibre optic distributed sensing over the past two decades has enabled the measurement of subsurface hydraulics and geomechanics at unprecedented temporal and spatial detail. Fibre optic distributed sensing systems operate by firing laser light down a fibre optic cable and using backscattered photons to measure temperature, vibration, or strain. Kilometres of measurements can be made at scales as small as a centimetre and sampling intervals of less than a millisecond.

We will look at how this technology has improved our understanding of subsurface flow related to diverse applications such as stream discharge, managed aquifer recharge, remediation of contaminated sites, aquifer testing, fracture hydromechanics, and energy resources. As these instruments become more reliable, accurate, and economical, opportunities for revolutionary observations of groundwater systems will continue to expand in the coming decades.


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Dr. Matt Becker, Earth Sciences, California State University.