Improved 2-D resistivity imaging of subsurface features in covered karst terrain with arrays of implanted electrodes

Kiflu, H.; Kruse, S.; Harro, D.; Loke, M.H.; Wilkinson, P.B.. 2013 Improved 2-D resistivity imaging of subsurface features in covered karst terrain with arrays of implanted electrodes. [Poster] In: AGU Fall Meeting 2013, San Francisco, USA, 9-13 Dec 2013.

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Kiflu et al 2013, Horizontal buried electrodes to surface optimisation.pdf
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Electrical resistivity tomography is commonly used to identify geologic features associated with sinkhole formation. In covered karst terrain, however, it can be difficult to resolve the depth to top of limestone with this method. This is due to the fact that array lengths, and hence depth of resolution, are often limited by residential or commercial lot dimensions in urban environments. Furthermore, the sediments mantling the limestone are often clay-rich and highly conductive. The resistivity method has limited sensitivity to resistive zones beneath conductive zones. This sensitivity can be improved significantly with electrodes implanted at depth in the cover sediments near the top of limestone. An array of deep electrodes is installed with direct push technology in the karst cover. When combined with a surface array in which each surface electrode is underlain by a deep electrode, the array geometry is similar to a borehole array turned on its side. This method, called the Multi-Electrode Resistivity Implant Technique (MERIT), offers the promise of significantly improved resolution of epikarst and cover collapse development zones in the overlying sediment, the limestone or at the sediment-bedrock interface in heterogeneous karst environments. With a non-traditional array design, the question of optimal array geometries arises. Optimizing array geometries is complicated by the fact that many plausible 4-electrode readings will produce negative apparent resistivity values, even in homogeneous terrain. Negative apparent resistivities cannot be used in inversions based on the logarithm of the apparent resistivity. New algorithms for seeking optimal array geometries have been developed by modifying the “Compare R” method of Wilkinson and Loke. The optimized arrays show significantly improved resolution over basic arrays adapted from traditional 2D surface geometries. Several MERIT case study surveys have been conducted in covered karst in west-central Florida, with 28-electrode arrays with electrodes 2-5 meters apart, and the deep arrays buried at 4-8 meters depth. Ground penetrating radar surveys, SPT borings and coring data provide selected “ground truthing”. The case studies show that inclusion of the deep electrode array permits karst features such as undulations at the top of limestone and raveling zones within surficial sediments to be imaged. These features are not accessible from surface arrays with equivalent surface footprints. The method also has better resolution at depth at the ends of the lines, where surface arrays are typically plotted with a trapezoidal truncation due to poor resolution at the lower corners of the profile.

Item Type: Publication - Conference Item (Poster)
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 27 Mar 2014 15:46 +0 (UTC)

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