--> --> Abstract: Application of Thermography to Karst Hydrogeology and Shale Outcrop Characterization, by Henry Badra and Kevin Blackwood; #90124 (2011)

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Making the Next Giant Leap in Geosciences
April 10-13, 2011, Houston, Texas, USA

Application of Thermography to Karst Hydrogeology and Shale Outcrop Characterization

Henry Badra1; Kevin Blackwood1

(1) Geology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.

Heat signatures and temperature contrasts can be detected using a technique known as infrared thermography or thermal imaging. This method was applied to Oklahoma carbonate and shale outcrops to detect heat signatures from karst features and fractures. Two locations are included in this study. The carbonate location is Turner Falls in the Arbuckle Mountains (sec. 36, T. 1 N., R. 6 E.). The shale location is the Wyche shale quarry (sec. 2, T. 2 N., R. 6 E.). These sites were chosen because of ease of access, and known features to compare the results. In both places, infrared thermograms (images) of cavities and fractures were obtained using a FLIR ThermaCAM and correlated with known features on outcrop. The surveys were conducted under very cold weather conditions to maximize the temperature range between the surface and subsurface and increase the signal to noise ratio. Large karst features such as caves and fissures were displayed on thermograms as warm polygons. Warm, linear features easily identified open fractures and smaller cracks. Thermal imaging in shale and carbonate outcrops could serve as a tool for determining fracture sets and locating new caves for karst exploration.