Groundwater and surface water tracer tests involve injecting a substance into the water (a tracer) and tracking it in time and space. This is a specialty that is particularly underdeveloped by most consultants, and Hydro-Ressources makes it a priority.
Relevance of tracing tests
Tracing tests provide information of incomparable quality. In particular, they make it possible to define the links between different places on a territory, the flow rate of groundwater and the dispersive properties of a geological medium.
The main advantage of tracer tests is that the result minimizes assumptions. Indeed, a converging tracer test towards an underground water collection well confirms, beyond doubt, the link between the injection point and the collection well.
Profile Tracing Test (PTT)
A profile tracing test is an application recently adapted by our firm. The concept is very simple; it consists of mixing a tracer as uniformly as possible in a single open hole (for example, a diamond drill hole for exploration). Once the tracer is mixed in the hole, the concentration is measured at different time periods in the same vertical borehole. Concentration profiles are created and the concentration variations indicate the location of the natural active flow zone. In fact, when the concentrations decrease, it means that a flow is present.
Excellon Resources is a Canadian company that operates a silver mine in the Durango region of Mexico. The company is currently mining at a depth of around 140m and the groundwater level is around 130m deep. In the sectors located under the roof of the aquifer, water infiltration is major and the pumping rate at the beginning of 2016 is 17,000 usgpm. A dewatering project is underway and the objective is to increase the pumping rate to 28,000usgpm. To carry out this project, a sequence of underground wells are under construction. The Technosub company installs the pumps in the mine.
The Cumberland zinc mine is part of a mining complex (Nyrstar Tennessee Mines) belonging to the Nyrstar company. It is a room and pillar type underground mine with a depth of about 500m. The deposit is located in paleo-karst, in a surrounding rock composed of limestone.
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