Data from U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4208
(Please note: the text below is from U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4208.)
A combination of multidisciplinary techniques was used to produce an improved visualization of the pore system within a cyclic hydrogeologic framework of the upper part of the Biscayne aquifer. This approach included the integration of GPR methods, core analyses, borehole geophysical logs, cyclostratigraphy, quantification of vuggy porosity in borehole images, and paleontology.
Ground-Penetrating Radar Surveys
When combined with hydrogeologic data, GPR can contribute substantially to the characterization of hydrogeologic properties of shallow limestone aquifers. Numerous GPR profiles were collected (about 60mi) and used to characterize the hydrogeologic framework of the upper part of the Biscayne aquifer.
Two types of GPR field surveys were conducted for this study: (1) continuous measurement commonoffset reflection surveys, and (2) common mid-point (CMP) velocity surveys (Annan and Davis, 1976; Davis and Annan, 1989). The common-offset reflection surveys were performed to produce two-dimensional profiles of the GPR reflections, and the CMP surveys to calculate radar velocities propagating through the solid and fluid material comprising the Biscayne aquifer. All GPR data were collected using a subsurface interface radar (SIR) System-10A+ with a dual 100-MHz antenna fixed-offset array. A time-varying gain was used during collection of each GPR profile. The common-offset reflection surveys were collected while towing the antennas 55 ft behind a truck with a connecting rope and cable at a rate of about 0.5 mi/hr. The separation between the center point of antennas was 35 in. Processing of profiles included a horizontal filter pass and, for some profiles, a constant-velocity migration of the continuous survey data using radar data analyzer (RADAN) for WinNT software. Visual representation of the GPR data was accomplished using RADAN for WinNT software and RADAN-to bitmap conversion utility. Descriptions of radar-reflection configuration patterns were based on comparison to seismic examples in Mitchum and others (1977).
Radar propagation velocities were calculated using depths to reflectors that could be determined from: (1) positive correlation of profile reflections with core-sample lithologies and borehole images, and (2) CMP survey data. Calculation of velocities (v) from comparison of profile reflections with core-sample lithologies and borehole images was established by dividing the one-way travel time (t) to a reflection by the depth (d) of its corresponding lithologic contact as verified in core or images. The equation t/d = v results in the velocity (v) between the land surface and selected lithologic contact. The method presented in Telford and others (1990) was used to determine velocities using CMP surveys.
Drilling, Well Completion, Core Analysis, and Geophysical Logging
Nearly all of the 50 test coreholes were drilled following GPR data acquisition (table 1 and fig.2). Test coreholes were located along the GPR profile tracts where they would be most useful for verification of GPR attributes. Collection of continuous 3.4- or 4-in. diameter cores was preferred to the normal rotary method, which produces small cutting samples collected over relatively wide depth intervals. The test coreholes were drilled by either Amdrill Inc., employing a wireline coring method, or by U.S. Drilling Inc., using a conventional coring method (table 1). Borehole geophysical logs were collected by the USGS in 45 of the 50 test coreholes drilled during this study and included induction resistivity, natural gamma ray, spontaneous potential, single-point resistivity, caliper, and digital borehole image logs (app. I). Borehole geophysical logs were not collected at the G-3694 and G-3697 test coreholes (fig. 2) due to problems with locating the well or destruction of the well after drilling. The borehole geophysical-logging tools were run in boreholes filled with clear freshwater. Each borehole was cased with 3.5- or 5-in. solid polyvinyl chlorinated (PVC) surface casing set to a depth between 4 and 19 ft below land surface (app. I). Data were acquired in digital format and archived in the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) database. The digital borehole image logs were acquired using an RaaX BIPS digital optical logging tool. A Mount Sopris Model HFP-2293 heat-pulse flowmeter was used to assess borehole fluid movement in the G-3710 test corehole. A technique described by Paillet (2000) to estimate vertical groundwater borehole flow was utilized with the flowmeter measurements collected in the G-3710 test corehole. This method has been previously applied to southern Florida aquifers (Paillet and Reese, 2000). Most geophysical logs collected as part of this study are provided in appendix I.
Core samples were described using a 10-power and lens and binocular microscope to determine vertical patterns of microfacies, sedimentary structures, and lithostratigraphic boundaries, to characterize porosity, and to estimate relative permeability. Limestone were classified by combining the schemes of Dunham (1962), Embry and Klovan (1971), and Lucia (1995). The rock color of dry core samples was recorded by comparison to a Munsell rock-color chart (Geological Society of America, 1991). Core-sample descriptions were classified as rock-fabric facies and are presented graphically in appendix I and on plates 1 to 5.
Horizontal and vertical permeability of 71 whole-core samples, horizontal permeability of 36 core-plug samples, and porosity and grain density of all 107 samples were measured at Core Laboratories, Inc. (app. II). At the time of this writing (2003), all continuous cores collected in this study were archived at the USGS office in Miami. Numerous (318) core-sample thin sections were examined using standard transmitted-light petrography to characterize and interpret rock properties and small-scale porosity.
Quantification of Vuggy Porosity from Borehole Images
Borehole images are digital photographs of the borehole wall recorded by a sonic-velocity or electrical- resistivity probe, or optical device (Lovell and others, 1999). The absence of borehole image logs requires that identification of vugs and fractures by geophysical logging is accomplished by combining and interpreting several logs, including sonic, dipmeter, laterolog and induction, density, spontaneous potential, and natural gamma-ray spectrometry (Crary and others, 1987). Unfortunately, these logs commonly are not all collected in shallow environmental boreholes. In this study, it was found that visual interpretations of digital borehole images are the most reliable and practical method of identifying vuggy porosity in the limestone of the Biscayne aquifer. A BIPS borehole imaging tool was used to log continuous digital photographic images in 45 test coreholes. These images provide 100-percent circumferential coverage of the borehole wall and can yield critical information regarding the presence or absence of vuggy porosity, its spatial distribution, and vuggy pore shape and size. Results are presented as depth logs of vuggy porosity in appendix I and on plates 1 to 5. A detailed description of the method to quantify vuggy porosity using borehole images is provided by Cunningham and others (2004).
Molluscan and Benthic Foraminiferal Paleontology
Mollusks from 46 samples collected from 12 test coreholes (fig. 3) were prepared and identified at the USGS Paleontology Laboratory in Reston, Va. Most of the mollusks present in the strata were preserved as molds and casts. Core samples were initially examined under a binocular microscope to observe diagnostic characteristics of the molluscan remains and to make identifications based on their comparison with published species. Clay squeezes or latex casts were made of the molluscan molds where appropriate to aid in identification. After initial identifications were made, samples were split open to expose fresh surfaces and the process repeated. Identification of benthic foraminifera was made at the genus level, where possible, for 67 thin sections selected by lithology from five test coreholes (fig. 4). Six biofacies were recognized. One was distinguished by an absence of benthic foraminifera and the five others were based on data from Bock and others (1971), and on biofacies suggested by Poag (1981) adapted to thin section analysis. Poag's (1981) classification of biofacies is based on predominant benthic foraminifera genera in a sample. Poag (1981) suggests counting 200 to 300 free specimens to establish the presence of a particular biofacies; however, the number of recognizable genera in samples used here is much less, so the interpretation of the biofacies assignments are somewhat speculative.
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