Subsurface fracture characterization is crucial for hydrogeologic modeling as applied to both fresh water resources and contaminant studies. Current methods of fracture geometry estimation for incorporation into groundwater models use cores, boreholes, and surface expression that are extrapolated over the entire study area. Due to the ‘cubic law’ relationship between fracture aperture and discharge—e.g., doubling fracture aperture will result in an eight-fold increase in discharge—there is a critical need to accurately estimate the aperture. Previous theoretical formulations suggested a correlation between ground penetrating radar (GPR) reflection amplitude and fracture aperture as well as groundwater salinity.


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