Designing a monitoring network for contaminated ground water in fractured chalk

R. Nativ, E. M. Adar, A. Becker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Scopus citations


    One of the challenges of monitoring network design in a fractured rock setting is the heterogeneity of the rocks. This paper summarizes the activities and problems associated with the monitoring of contaminated groundwater in porous, low-permeability fractured chalk in the Negev Desert, Israel. Preferential flow documented in the study area required siting the monitoring boreholes in the predominant fracture systems. Lineaments traced from aerial photographs were examined in the field to sort out the large-extension, through-going, multilayer fracture systems crossing the study area. At each proposed drilling site, these fractures were exposed below the sediment cover using trenches. Slanted boreholes were drilled at a distance from the fracture systems so that each borehole would intersect the targeted fracture plane below the water table. Based on their short recovery period and contaminated ground water, these newly drilled, fracture-oriented boreholes appeared to be better connected to preferential flowpaths crossing the industrial site than the old boreholes existing on site. Other considerations concerning the drilling and logging of monitoring boreholes in a fractured media were: (1) coring provides better documentation of the vertical fracture distribution, but dry augering is less costly and enables immediate ground water sampling and the sampling of vadose rock for contaminant analysis; (2) caliper and TV camera logs appear to provide only partial information regarding the vertical fracture distribution; and (3) the information gained by deepening the monitoring boreholes and testing fractures crossing their uncased walls has to be carefully weighed against the risk of potential cross-contamination through the monitoring boreholes, which is enhanced in fractured media.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-47
    Number of pages10
    JournalGround Water
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Water Science and Technology
    • Computers in Earth Sciences


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