Well logging

Well Logging:

Borehole logging is a simple cost-effectivemethod of characterizing the constructionand performance of water wells. Logginghas a vital role not only in initial drilling butalso in regular performance monitoring toidentify developing well problems beforethey lead to costly failures.

Reasons for logging wells include:

Delineation of hydrogeological units

(The different hydrogeological units found in the subsurface display a wide range of capabilities to store and transmit ground water and contaminants. Borehole-geophysical logging provides a highly efficient means to determine the character and thickness of the different geologic materials penetrated by wells and test holes. This information is essential for proper placement of casing and screens in water-supply wells and for characterizing and remediating ground-water contamination.

Definition of ground-water quality

(The quality of ground water is highly variable and ground-water contamination may be caused by man-made or natural sources. Integration of borehole-geophysics logging with water-quality sampling provides a more complete picture, whether the objective is to develop a water-supply well or remediate a contaminated aquifer.)

Determination of well construction and conditions

(Wells are the access points to the ground-water system, and knowledge of their construction and condition are important whether they are being used for ground-water supply, monitoring, or remediation. The location and condition of casing and screen can be rapidly evaluated with geophysical logging.

Types of Well Logs

If samples of the material being drilled are brought to the surface and described by a geologist, then a lithological well log can be recorded. This is simply adscription of the layers of material encountered during drilling, and is often called a driller’s log.

After a well is drilled, several geophysical techniques can be employed to learn something of the properties of the geologic material and fluids in the subsurface. These techniques involve lowering some kind of a probe into the hole and measuring a physical property as the probe descends and ascends.

Caliper log- because many of the geophysical logging methods are sensitive to the diameter of the borehole, often a log of borehole width is made against which the results of other analyses can be compared.

Borehole diameter is affected by the swelling of clays in the sides of the hole, by differential resistance of the drill bit to different lithologies, and by dissolution cavities in the rock. Caliper logs alone can often be used to identify both productive and confining units in an aquifer.

(Caliper logs record borehole diameter. Changes in borehole diameter are related to well construction, such as casing or drilling-bit size, and to fracturing or caving along the borehole wall. Because borehole diameter commonly affects log response, the caliper log is useful in the analysis of other geophysical logs, including interpretation of flowmeter logs.)

Electric logs- there are a variety of geophysical techniques that involve lowering an electrode down the well while continuously measuring the change in current flow (electrical potential) through the electrode.

Spontaneous Potential: measures the difference in natural voltage between the probe and a surface grounded electrode. This method is sensitive to pore water chemistry, which is greatly influenced by the lithology of the subsurface. Generally, coarser grained sandy units induce a positive voltage difference while fine-grained, clay units induce a negative potential.

(Spontaneous-potential logs record potentials or voltages developed between the borehole fluid and the surrounding rock and fluids. Spontaneous-potential logs can be used in the determination of lithology and water quality. Collection of spontaneous-potential logs is limited to water-or mud-filled open holes.)

Resistivity: Measures the resistance to an introduced current flow between two electrodes. Coarse-grained units have high resistance, fine-grained units have low resistance.

(Single-point resistance logs record the electrical resistance from points within the borehole to an electrical ground at land surface. In general, resistance increases with increasing grain size and decreases with increasing borehole diameter, fracture density, and dissolved-solids concentration of the water. Single-point resistance logs are useful in the determination of lithology, water quality, and location of fracture zones.)

(Normal-resistivity logs record the electrical resistivity of the borehole environment and surrounding rocks and water as measured by variably spaced potential electrodes on the logging probe. Typical spacing for potential electrodes are 16 inches for short-normal resistivity and 64 inches for long-normal resistivity. Normal-resistivity logs are affected by bed thickness, borehole diameter, and borehole fluid and can only be collected in water-or mud-filled open holes.)

Induction: Measures the strength of a secondary electric field induced in the aquifer by the electrode. This is a good technique for locating saltwater wedges as the saline groundwater is a good conductor of electricity.

(Electromagnetic-induction logs record the electrical conductivity or resistivity of the rocks and water surrounding the borehole. Electrical conductivity and resistivity are affected by the porosity, permeability, and clay content of the rocks and by the dissolved solids concentration of the water within the rocks. The electromagnetic-induction probe is designed to maximize vertical resolution and depth of investigation and to minimize the effects of the borehole fluid.)

Gamma logs: Uses a Geiger counter-like probe to measure the natural gamma radiation emitted by aquifer materials. Clays are enriched in uranium minerals and clay-rich units have high gamma counts.

(Gamma logs record the amount of natural gamma radiation emitted by the rocks surrounding the borehole. The most significant naturally occurring sources of gamma radiation arepotassium-40 and daughter products of the uranium-and thorium-decay series. Clay-and shale-bearing rocks commonly emit relatively high gamma radiation because they include weathering products of potassium feldspar and mica and tend to concentrate uranium and thorium by ion absorption and exchange.)

Sonic Logs :

An acoustic velocity log provides information on porosity and well completion to help minimise cross-contamination in remediation programs. The determination of exact depths and the physical characteristics of each layer decrease the uncertainties in groundwater modeling and allow for the accurate placement of well screens for sampling, or groundwater extraction.