Imageau is a young and innovative company seeking to bring out to the world the cutting-edge technology developed in the Montpellier Geosciences Lab. It is also the project of an enthusiastic team meeting around a major idea : the protection of groundwater resources by means of an accurate cutting-edge monitoring technology.
imaGeau was founded by three partners with a common objective : to protect ground water resources through clear and systematic monitoring using a brand new piece of technology.
The creation of imaGeau also came as an indirect response to the need for new strategies when dealing with subsurface resources management. It coincided with growing regulatory pressure from the 2000 EU Water Directive and its 2007 application decree in France.
Better protection through closer monitoring
Our objective is to supply new information necessary to better manage our groundwater resources in order to meet in the best possible way the environmental, industrial and regulatory demands of today.
Our state of the art dynamic monitoring fulfils four major roles:
- To actively manage our water resources (exploitation and protection)
- To manage a state of alert during aquifer pollutions
- To decide on the best remedial course of action against a pollution or spill
- To monitor the integrity of underground CO2 storage.
Today our technology is applicable to three main areas:
SMD are designed to provide our clients with cost effective solutions to subsurface monitoring needs.
The imaGeau technology was patented in France and Europe in 2006 and 2007. This is currently unique in the domain of subsurface monitoring.
A technological leap
imaGeau’s approach represents a true technological advance in comparison with other tools on the market today. We are now able to transfer into the public domain a whole range of methods and hydro geophysical tools developed by the CNRS during their most recent research programs. Similar tools (based on the installation of monitoring devices in boreholes) exist already in some limited areas of oil exploration (at several kilometres deep) in the geotechnical domain, for the assessment of mechanical constraints on large projects (such as dams).
However, such devices used near the surface for hydro geological or environmental purposes remain the exception. imaGeau has developed a R&D program in hydro geophysics in partnership with the CNRS (through its geosciences laboratory in Montpellier) in particular through national and European joint research projects.
A unique patented technology
The innovative aspect of our monitoring devices is threefold:
- an accurate and permanent instrumentation in a soft, unstable and therefore hardly known zone, situated near the surface and most exposed to human activity. This approach is different from other methods commonly used in hydrogeology in particular the more global analysis provided by the piezometric technique;
- entirely automated subsurface devices with minimal human intervention (economical and safer), as well as a high frequency time series for real time monitoring (possibly on a daily basis) over a long period of time (possibly many years) allowing managers to take important decisions as early as possible in terms of public protection and/or business performance;
- a technological transfer: in our approach to subsurface monitoring we have associated traditional methods commonly used in hydrogeology to the latest and most advanced monitoring techniques used in the oil exploration field. imaGeau is pursuing its strategy of technological development in order to widen the range of its services and of its scope of applications as well as to present our customers with a better understanding of subsurface dynamics.
Real time monitoring of underground resources: a unique tool in the decision making process.
imaGeau’s hydrogeophysics observatory is installed in a borehole without gravel packing. Its electrodes are in direct contact with the subsurface area under investigation.
This technology can measure in situ the conductivity of a porous fluid (conductivity of the water contained in porous aquifers). Multiple electrodes (up to 200 depending on our client’s needs) are deployed along a subsurface probe to ensure vertical high resolution and high frequency data over time (one or more per day).
Data collected by our observatories is therefore meaningful and reliable in comparison with data collected using the traditional piezometric method of investigation.
The imaGeau technology is highly versatile from the initial design to the operational stage:
- Adjustable depth down hole – up to 200m;
- Choice of electrodes;
- Choice of spacing between electrodes depending on the area under investigation;
- Variable frequency of data collection (monthly to hourly);
- Useable even in extreme conditions (i.e. in a hostile environment).
Investigation parameters are adjustable remotely during the exploitation phase in order to compensate for certain external factors such as tides or rainfall.
Our in situ observatories are deployed near the surface (up to a maximum depth of 250m) and operate autonomously. They are innovative thanks to:
- Wide range sampling capabilities;
- High resolution data logging;
- High frequency time series;
- Rigorous multiple data logging;
- Without human intervention
A vital tool for decision makers
Our observatories provide site managers with the necessary data to enable them to take immediate decisions concerning:
- the closer monitoring of resources
- the detection of any abnormal variation
- the prevention of deterioration (state of alert on pollution)
- the appropriate and efficient control of remediation operations