| Project objectives:
The ground water content is at the present time estimated using different methods:
- the sounding drill and gravimetric sounding, that only give a punctual information
- the resistivity methods, based on the electrical current conduction properties, give more the ionic content than the water content and necessitates the
use of electrodes that must be pushed inside the soil. This last operation is time consuming and impossible in a very dry ground
- the electromagnetic methods such as magneto-telury, infrared spectroscopy, thermometry, geological radar scan, which are able to obtain water profiles.
However, the major limitation for all these methods is the small penetration depth (less than 1 meter).
- the classical geophysical prospecting methods - seismic reflection or gravimetry - are more adapted to deep exploration (>10 m).
The main objective is to develop a new technology based on magnetic resonance imaging for the detection and mapping of the water present in the first meters
of the ground (0-10m). The equipment is based on the proton NMR detection of water in the ground magnetic field. Such instrumentation has already been developed.
The originality of our system as compared to the existing one is the capability of geographical signal localisation, which was not presently possible with
the existing system. The objective is to obtain ground water imaging from the surface to around 10 meters deep.
The industrial objective is clearly to provide a tool displaying new performances in the sector of ground water characterization with imaging capabilities.
This should significantly improve the quality of the work and the time taken for the studies. The goal of the project is to build and validate a system prototype
able to meet the stated objectives. The on-site validation of the prototype by the different SMEs constitutes the second important deliverable. To improve
the economical value of the services supplied, it is planned to perform demonstration studies, and to examine the possibility of having other systems built
by a specialised factory. The main sectors of activities for SMEs user are as follows: (i) environmental studies, forecasting of pollution and flooding, reclassifying
industrial wastelands, water catchment determination (ii) agronomic and pedologic studies such as field classification, quality control and planning
for drainage installations, (iii) building industry, motorways, risk and prevention of foundations, flooding, rocks, stones and cavity localisation for
tunnelling. Other applications that could be developed include forest fire prevention by measuring ground water distribution and determination of the best
water boring localisation. The methodology is also of interest for the detection and the estimation of archaeological resources and is therefore of central
interest to our cultural heritage.
The main objective is to develop a new technology based on magnetic resonance imaging for the detection and mapping of the water present in the first few meters
of the ground (0-10m). This information is of great interest for companies working in different fields of activity. In agronomy, the technique will be used
to analyse and classify fields and to estimate the ground water balance. The environmental agencies will use it to prevent flooding and pollution. In addition,
the absence of ground water can indicate the presence of rocks, stones and cavities, information very useful for the tunnelling and building industries. The
methodology is also of interest for detecting and estimating archaeological resources and helps in conserving our cultural heritage. The major aim of the
project is to offer a consortium of four European companies working in the above-mentioned fields of activities a very high-tech system for underground tomography