Characterization of the Hydraulic Properties of Fractures in Chalk

Ronit Nativ, Eilon Adar, Lior Assaf, Erik Nygaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The fracture systems intersecting Eocene chalk formations in the Negev desert, Israel, and their hydraulic properties were characterized using a variety of geologic and hydrologic techniques. These included identification of the prevailing directions of fracture systems in outcrops, in cores retrieved from inclined coreholes, in coreholes using video logs, and in trenches. The orientation and inclination of these fracture systems were determined, and evidence of ground water flow on the fracture surfaces was described and ranked. Their hydraulic conductivity was determined through slug and pumping tests performed at discrete intervals. Temperature, electrical conductivity, caliper, gamma and heat-pulse logs were conducted in the same coreholes. The results from the logs, tests, and core descriptions were compared to identify reliable and cost-effective tools for investigating the hydraulic characteristics of fracture systems. We concluded that in the study area: (1) fracture mapping in outcrops and coreholes (including downhole video and caliper logs) must be supplemented by hydraulic testing of the mapped fracture sets in the coreholes; (2) inclined coreholes provide information regarding the orientation of the hydraulically active fracture systems that cannot be obtained from vertical boreholes; (3) hydraulic testing of unpacked holes provides a reasonable estimate of the maximum hydraulic conductivity; and (4) the hydraulic conductivity distribution with depth is log normal and all significant ground water flow takes place within the upper 25 m.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-543
Number of pages12
JournalGround Water
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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