Advancing the ability to detect subsurface groundwater movements in coal seam gas operations using the self-potential method to help quantify and mitigate contamination of groundwater aquifers
Removal of large amounts of formation water from coal seams is required in coal seam gas (CSG) production, reducing the pressure and allowing methane to be desorbed from the coal matrix. This dewatering could deplete groundwater resources, drawdown and depressure aquifers, and possibly contaminate aquifers due to high salt concentrations present in the coal water and the use of stimulating chemicals to accelerate dewatering. To mitigate contamination it is necessary to identify the flow path of water through the subsurface. Jahangir Alam's PhD research will use the Self Potential remote-sensing method to measure fluid flow paths and will help develop an alternative, low-cost method to measure the orientation and time dependence of subsurface fluid flow without the need to drill expensive observation wells.