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Hydrogeophysics: Joint inversion of self-potential and electrical resistivity data to characterize subsurface flow


An alternative approach to characterize groundwater flow is to use minimally invasive, rapid and cost-effective geophysical methods in complement to `classical hydraulic and geochemical methods. The Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and the Self-Pote ntial (SP) methods offer such a possibility because these methods are sensitive to pore water saturation and groundwater flow. The ERT is an active method used to obtain the distribution of the electrical resistivity in the subsoil. The SP method consists in passive of the natural electric field associated with polarisation mechanisms occurring at depth, which reflect hydraulic gradients and chemical potential gradients. These anomalies can be analysed to characterize qualitatively and quantitatively the dy namic of the groundwater flow. However, there is a lack in robust data inversion techniques. Therefore, as there is pressing demand for deriving new interpretation schemes of SP-signals in terms of groundwater flow, we propose in this proposal to generalis e standard SP-analysis methods by combining self-potential and electrical resistivity data in a joint inversion (SPERT). Incorporation of the subsurface resistivity distribution is a new and necessary step in SP inversion in order to characterise the elect rical field source parameters, which are essential for quantitative analysis of groundwater bodies. We propose to utilise the recent developments in SP analysis carried out by the applicant in combination with expertise at the host institutions in ERT and SP modelling and in field experiments.

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