Remote Monitoring and Sensors

Research Overview

Human interactions with the environment and natural resources perturb dynamic systems that need a high resolution of spatial and temporal monitoring to assess impacts. For energy resources, this data aids in finding resources, engineering extraction, and mitigating damage such as contamination or induced earthquakes accompanying extraction. For water resources, this data characterizes the water budget, contaminant transport, and the impact of extreme events such as hurricanes.

Faculty Research

Nyquist Group uses geophysical techniques to monitor exchange between ground-water and urban streams

Toran Group uses hydrologic and chemical monitoring to study the state urban water management and remediation of and streams

Davatzes Group studies the impact of drilling activities associated with tight-gas shale on abandoned wells and natural fractures. The addition or removal of fluid from the earth causes redistribution of fluid pressure, flow, and deformation. This forcing due to pumping results in measurable surface displacement and induced seismic activity.

Technical Capabilities

– Borehole geophysical analysis of stress, permeability, and rock mechanical properties
– Numerical modeling of stress field variation and fracture formation and slip prediction
– Time series analysis of pumping, seismicity, and deformation records
– Statistical characterization of fracture and stress heterogeneity

– Collaborative access and analysis to SAR imagery for InSAR analysis

Measure the history of deformation:
-Surface: Synthetic Aperture Interferometric Radar (InSAR)
-Subsurface: Seismicity

Model deformation history as a response to forcing by pumping using poroelasticity to infer:
-Pore pressure field
-Fracture network hosting fluid flow
-Stimulated vs persistent flow paths


Recent Publications

3. Preliminary investigation of reservoir dynamics monitored through combined surface deformation and micro-earthquake activity Brady’s Geothermal Field, Nevada.
Davatzes, N.C., Feigl, K.L., Mellors, R.J., Foxall, W., Wang. H.F., and Drakos, P.
PROCEEDINGS, Thirty-Eighth Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford, California, February 11-13, SGP-TR-194, 20 (2013)

2. Effect of Surficial Disturbance on Exchange Between Groundwater and Surface Water in Nearshore Margins
Donald O. Rosenberry, Laura Toran, and Jonathan E. Nyquist
American Geophysical Union: Water Resources Research, 46 (2010)


1. Using Hydrogeophysics to Monitor Chang in Hyporheic Flow Around Stream Restoration Structures
Laura Toran, Brian Hughes, and Jonathan Nyquist
Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, February 2012, pp. 86-97

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