Differential pressure systems and methods for measuring hydraulic parameters across surface water-aquifer interfaces


Inventor: Ann Mulligan, Alan Gardner, Rerence Hammar, Charles Harvey and Harold Hemon
Serial #: 12/611,454

Applications: A system for measuring hydraulic parameters across a surface water-aquifer interface. Accurate hydrogeologic measurement and modeling of the flow between aquifers and surface water bodies is particularly valuable as these data will be necessary in characterizing temporal or long-term trends in groundwater flux as well as solute concentrations. Here, an in situ sensor automatically and continuously measures and records the differential pressure, electrical conductivity, and temperature between two water bodies from periods of months to seasons.

Technology: These systems include a pressure differential sensor within a watertight housing. The pressure differential sensor has two inlets, one of which is connected to a piezometer located in an aquifer, and the other of which is connected to a surface water body. A solenoid valve allows the systems to switch between a first measurement configuration and a second calibration configuration. A pump and a conductivity-temperature sensor enables a third and fourth configuration for measuring the electrical conductivity and temperature of surface water and groundwater. The collected data is then locally stored or transmitted wirelessly. The low-power components and calibration capabilities of the systems allow for long-term deployment on the order of six months or more.