Geophysical Monitoring of Ground Surface Deformation Associated with a Confined Aquifer Storage and Recovery Operation

Alain Bonneville, Essam Heggy, Christopher Strickland, Jonathan Normand, Jeffrey Dermond, Yilin Fang, Charlotte Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


One important issue in the storage of large volumes of fluids, mainly water and CO2, in the deep subsurface is to determine the resulting field-scale-induced displacements and consequences of overpressures on the mechanical integrity of the storage reservoir and surroundings. A quantifiable estimation of displacement can be made by combining the robust, cost-effective, and repeatable geophysical techniques of micro-gravimetry, differential global positioning system (DGPS), and differential synthetic aperture radar interferometry (DInSAR). These techniques were field tested and evaluated for the first time on an active large-volume aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) project in Pendleton, Oregon, USA, where three ASR wells are injecting up to 1.9 million m3 year−1 into basalt aquifers to a depth of about 150 m. Injection and recovery of water at the wells are accompanied by significant gravity anomalies and vertical deformation of the ground surface localized to the immediate surroundings of the injection wells as evidenced by DGPS and gravity measurements collected in 2011. At a larger scale, and between 2011 and 2013, DInSAR monitoring of the Pendleton area shows sub-centimetric deformation in the western part of the city and close to the injection locations associated with ASR cycle. Deformations are found to be temporally out phased with the injection and recovery events due to complex groundwater flow. A numerical simulation of the effect of the water injection gives results in good agreement with the observations and confirms the validity of the approach, which could be deployed in similar geological contexts to look at the mechanical effects of water and gas injections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4667-4682
Number of pages16
JournalWater Resources Management
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes



  • Aquifer storage and recovery
  • ASR
  • CO<inf>2</inf> storage
  • GPS
  • Gravity
  • Ground deformation
  • Water storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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