Vista Clara Inc

Vista Clara Inc

- Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Geophysical Instruments (NMR)


A revolution in groundwater science Javelin combines advanced electronics and precise measurements in a small package to deliver economical NMR logging of boreholes as small as 2 inches in diameter. For decades, NMR logging has proven to be an invaluable tool in oil exploration, but the size, weight, and high cost of oil-field tools has precluded their use in groundwater and environmental investigations, until now. The first and only tool of its kind, Javelin enables economical NMR logging in small-diameter “slimhole” boreholes, yielding key aquifer and subsurface properties at sub-meter resolution.

  • Direct detection and quantification of groundwater (including capillary and clay-bound water)
  • Detection and quantification of hydrocarbons and fluid diffusion
  • Precise determination of porosity and water content
  • Estimation of permeability, mobile/bound water fraction, pore-size distributions
  • Sensitivity to geometric and geochemical pore-scale properties
  • Sub-meter depth resolution

  • Groundwater exploration and aquifer characterization
  • High resolution characterization of small-scale hydrogeologic features including thinly layered flow barriers or preferential flow zones
  • Detailed characterization of hydrogeologic units to parameterize groundwater and site conceptual models
  • Long-term monitoring of groundwater dynamics


Javelin operates in a borehole like an inside-out MRI scanner and provides direct sensitivity to groundwater. The tool projects a magnetic field several inches beyond the borehole, creating a “sensitive region” that is approximately cylindrical in shape from which the groundwater NMR signal is detected. This thin sensitive region is ideally located within the undamaged region of the formation, where the rocks and sediments are not disturbed by drilling.

By emitting a series of radio-frequency pulses and recording the returning signal, Javelin measures the NMR response of groundwater in the sensitive zone, much like an MRI scanner measures the NMR response of tissues in the body. The characteristics of the measured NMR signal reflect the quantity of groundwater as well as the hydrogeologic properties at a given depth. Specifically, the total amplitude of the signal directly and unambiguously indicates the total amount of groundwater. The decay behavior of the signal over time, which is summarized by the decay-time (T2) distribution, conveys more detailed information about the pore environment. Generally, water in low-permeability silts and clays exhibits short T2, while water in high-permeability sands and gravels exhibits long T2.

The recorded NMR signal at each depth is processed and analyzed to provide reliable estimates of hydrogeologic parameters including, bound/mobile water content, pore size, and permeability. By repeating logging measurements at successive depth intervals, a high resolution profile of the NMR T2 distribution and hydrogeologic properties is obtained.


Many groundwater wells and boreholes are just a few inches in diameter and cannot accommodate large oil-field NMR logging instruments (even if funding permits the use of these expensive tools). The affordable Javelin tool is available in three sizes designed specifically for slimhole boreholes and wells. The smallest tool is designed to operate in holes as small as two inches. The largest tool operates in four to eight inch holes. An intermediately sized tool is designed to be operated with a GeoProbe direct push system for minimally-invasive surveys.

Instant Processing and Interpretation

The Javelin software package allows  users to easily monitor data quality and to process measurements while logging. The software also includes analysis tools to immediately determine water content, T2 distributions, as well as estimated hydrogeologic parameters including bound/movable water content and relative or calibrated permeability.

Advanced Noise Cancellation

NMR measurements in the near surface can be susceptible to noise from nearby infrastructure, particularly at very shallow depths.  Javelin’s patented noise cancellation architecture utilizes reference sensors to mitigate the influence of cultural noise enabling  measurements in highly urbanized areas.

The Javelin system offers flexibility with a collection of interchangeable down hole probes.  Wider probe models offer higher signal-to-noise and greater radial investigation, while narrower probes offer access to boreholes as small as 2 inches in diameter.

Winch Options

  • Motorized Mount Sopris 4WNA with 3WCA controller
    • 220 m Custom Downhole Cable
  • Custom Light-Weight Manual Winch
    • 120 m Custom Downhole Cable

Power Supply: Line Power or Generator (120V and 240V Models Available)

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