Field Test of the In Situ Permeable Ground Water Flow Sensor Academic Article uri icon


  • Two in situ permeable flow sensors, recently developed at Sandia National Laboratories, were field tested at the Brazos River Hydrologic Field Site near College Station, Texas. The flow sensors use a thermal perturbation technique to quantify the magnitude and direction of ground water flow in three dimensions. Two aquifer pumping tests lasting eight and 13 days were used to field test the flow sensors. Components of ground water flow as determined from piezometer gradient measurements were compared with ground water flow components derived from the 3-D flow sensors. The changes in velocity magnitude and direction of ground water flow induced by the pump were evaluated using flow sensor data and piezometric analyses. Flow sensor performance closely matched piezometric analysis results. Ground water flow direction (azimuth), as measured by the flow sensors and derived in the piezometric analysis, predicted the position of the pumping well accurately. Ground water flow velocities measured by the flow sensors compared well to velocities derived in the piezometric analysis. A significant delay in flow sensor response to relatively rapid changes in ground water flow was observed. Preliminary tests indicate that the in situ permeable flow sensor provides accurate and timely information on the velocity magnitude and direction of ground water flow.

published proceedings

  • Groundwater Monitoring & Remediation

author list (cited authors)

  • Alden, A. S., & Munster, C. L.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Alden, Andrew S||Munster, Clyde L

publication date

  • January 1997