Skip to content

24/02/2021 News

ORCAD, a 3D view of groundwater

ORCAD (Online and Realtime Characterization of Aquifer Dynamic), is a monitoring system that, for the first time, enables access to a 3D view of the circulation of underground water and the flow of the chemicals it carries. Whilst revealing the twists and turns in the path taken by a flow, ORCAD also computes the spatial variability of its speed! This innovation gives the ability to monitor changes in the environment over time and implement appropriate measures to manage any impacts.

How does water move? See the invisible in motion...

PERL, Total’s cutting-edge R&D center in Lacq that specializes in environment- and climate-related issues, began the development of ORCAD in 2017. Partnering with leading national and international universities including UPPA, FEMTO-ST and the University of Kansas in the USA, they looked at the question “Where does the water go, how fast and what is it carrying?”. The PERL teams applied their passion and scientific excellence to finding the answer and the result? ORCAD!

Frédéric Périé - Project Head, One R&D Water, Environment and Society; Anthony Credoz - Section Head, One R&D Subsurface Environment; Béatrice Ducastel - Lead Engineer, PERL Underground Water Laboratory; Vincent Douard - Project Manager, RETIA, Lacq



icon play

ORCAD, a 3D view of groundwater

Improved monitoring of freshwater

Designed to enable even more effective monitoring of the dynamics and quality of underground water than is required by current legislation, ORCAD demonstrates the proactivity of the Group’s environmental R&D, who, through their dedication, imagination and expertise, provide tangible proof of Total’s ambition to become the major in responsible energy.

Industrial sites are only the first area in which ORCAD can be applied, as it has the potential to meet the overall challenge represented by the protection of freshwater resources. The system will be also able to be adapted to monitor geological storage of CO2. Many other activity sectors, both industrial and agricultural, will in the future be able to make ORCAD an effective ally in their quest to protect freshwater resources.


  • To find out more about PERL, click HERE