Fibre-optic distributed temperature sensing (FO-DTS) is an emerging technology that has promise for characterizing estuary-aquifer and stream-aquifer interaction and for identifying transmissive fractures in bedrock boreholes. Although routinely used for monitoring temperature and (or) strain in petroleum wells, FO-DTS applications in hydrology are uncommon.
In the spring of 2006, with support from the USGS Ground-Water Resources Program, the USGS Office of Ground Water, Branch of Geophysics began a six-month FO-DTS technology demonstration/evaluation project. As part of this project, several FO-DTS pilot studies were conducted at the 100-meter to kilometer scales. Study goals included evaluating the use of FO-DTS for:
- mapping submarine ground-water discharge,
- identifying gaining stream reaches, and
- identifying transmissive fractures in boreholes.