- Groundwater Monitoring Services


SelkerMetrics provides a range of professional services associated with measurement and analysis. Our projects range from distributed temperature measurements in surface and groundwater, to the detection of groundwater movement and seeps and the development of site-specific groundwater budgets and models.

We have expertise in:

Distributed Temperature Sensing (DTS). Fiber optic cables, paired with specialized electronics and software, can precisely and continuously measure temperature at thousands of locations over long distances and large areas. SelkerMetrics has pioneered the use of this technology for hydrogeology and environmental monitoring.

For example, by precisely monitoring temperatures in sediment it is possible to locate where groundwater is seeping into sediments and bodies of water. Water movement can also be tracked in soils, through man-made caps, and in other applications where contaminants or flows are of interest. We have also used DTS to detect in-flows into sewers by looking for the distinctive temperature signatures associated with areas of leakage.

DTS technology can also be applied in other situations involving temperature monitoring in air or liquids, and can even be used to monitor vibration, sound, and strain over long distances and areas.

Because the monitoring is continuous, video animation can be used to see changes associated with time of day, season, tides, rainfall, active pumping, or other variables. These applications typically require careful design, custom fiber optic cable and deployment equipment, high precision, and sophisticated data and image processing, but the results can provide invaluable insights into environmental processes.

SelkerMetrics brings experience and tools to clients and consultants looking for a detailed understanding of their situations. Our focus is full-service design, measurement, analysis, and communication. Examples of our unique developments and tools are shown below.

Quantifying the effectiveness of cable placement. SelkerMetrics has developed a simulation model to estimate the likelihood of detecting seeps of various sizes, locations, and orientations for given cable layouts. This system addresses uncertainties and allows for anisotropies in the geology, including permeable layers and salt-water wedges. This offers clients and regulators a quantitative basis for evaluating layouts and confidence in the effectiveness of a deployment for detecting seeps of interest.

Fiber Optic Cable Cleaning. SelkerMetrics has developed proprietary special-purpose cable cleaning equipment. These systems operate largely in situ, so that when the cable is retrieved from a deployment there is no need or minimal need for further cleaning or disposing of material from the site.

Fiber Optic Deployment and Retrieval. We welcome novel and challenging deployment conditions, and have developed methods and tools for these applications. The devil is in the details when handling and securing a valuable cable that can be damaged with improper handling or anchoring. For this reason we have developed special tools and systems for deployment, retrieval, floating, sinking, positioning, splicing, anchoring, and even plowing the cable into soils and sediments.

Data Analysis and Presentation. A strength of the DTS system is providing a data set that provides high spatial and temporal resolution over a large area. However, this also means that we typically collect millions of values at an installation. The analysis and presentation of such large data sets is critical to understanding a site and conveying the situation to regulators and others. We use methods from signal processing and statistics to find the meaning that can be hidden in the data. We also use vivid graphics, including 2-d, 3-d, and animations, to share our findings with clients and interested parties.

Prof. John Selker is one of the world’s leading experts on the application of DTS technology to hydrology and environmental monitoring. He is effective presenting results in a variety of contexts, including in legal and regulatory proceedings.

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