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Multiphysics Simulation: An IEEE Spectrum Insert
Manager’s Guide

Pumping and Injecting from a Single Borehole

Prof. Martin Sauter, Ph.D Student Yulan Jin, and Assoc. Prof. Ekkehard Holzbecher
Georg-August-University, Göttingen, Germany

Professor Dr. Martin Sauter leads a group at the University of Göttingen in research on hydrogeology. Cooperating with Hölscher Wasserbau, a leading German dewatering company, the group is studying düsensauginfiltration (DSI), which is a technique for lowering groundwater levels at mining or construction sites.

Traditionally, dewatering involves the transportation of water away from the site, while DSI keeps it in the vicinity, lowering levels through a pumping action. This has less impact on the local ecosystem and is less expensive, but it is not completely understood.

They used COMSOL Multiphysics to solve for the pressure distribution and deformation of the aquifer. The model allowed the group to make a comparison between DSI and the classical method so as to better choose which technique fits the conditions of a specific site. The group hopes to be able to create guidelines for the use and optimization of DSI to save time and effort at future work sites.

Sketch of the borehole abstraction (pumping) and infiltration (injection) concept.