Field hydrogeology research site

Mission: establish a world-class fractured rock hydrogeology field site for cutting-edge research and teaching.

Fractured limestone site at the UMN campus

Our team has been developing a novel teaching and research field site for fractured rock hydrogeology. Dozens of wells and multiple consulting reports with extensive hydrogeologic information are available at the site, which is only 15-minute walk away from our office. Fractured outcrops are not only accessible from a nearby river bluff but also from an underground cavern where an exposed ceiling shows vertical fractures. The team conducts extensive fieldwork every summer, including dye tracing and hydraulic testing using a multi-packer system. We are developing a 3D numerical groundwater model based on multiscale characterization of the fractured aquifer. Peter and his colleagues have also incorporated field activities at the site into several courses at UMN.

Numerical modeling of the fractured limestone site

We have been developing a numerical model to simulate flow and solute transport processes within the fractured limestone formation on the University of Minnesota campus. There are multiple layers in the limestone formation, each with its own fracture network characteristics. On the basis of field outcrop data, we developed fracture network models, integrated these networks with the rock matrix, and conducted flow and transport simulations. With cutting-edge field techniques and numerical modeling, we aim to make this a world-class fractured rock hydrogeology site.