Scale and Heterogeneity in Hydraulic Properties of the Fractured Granitic Boise Front, Boise, Idaho

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science in Geology



Major Advisor

James McNamara


A continuum approach model was used to determine the permeability of the fractured granite Idaho Batholith underlying the Dry Creek Experimental Watershed east of Boise, Idaho and characterization of the fracture network was completed. A technique for applying the apertures of fractures measured in a less weathered area to the fracture network in the (DCEW) is described. A Monte Carlo simulation of permeability showed that a Representative Elemental Volume (REV) does exist in the DCEW. Plotting the permeability calculated stochastically in the Monte Carlo simulation against the summed outcrop area shows a distinct plateau around 10-6 m2 which is larger than the estimate of the permeability, 10-9 m2, using the traditional REV plot but very similar to the deterministic calculation of the permeability of 1.49 x 10-6 m2 using the continuum model. The Monte Carlo simulation has the advantage over the traditional REV plot in that outcrops with large area are well represented and the estimate of the plateau is based on more than just a few measurements.

Files over 30MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."