Environmental Geology

Time-lapse resistivity investigations for imaging saltwater transport in glaciofluvial deposits

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Courtesy of Environmental Geology

Abstract 
Five intersecting resistivity sections have been measured in glaciofluvial deposits hosting an aquifer of regional importance situated along a heavy traffic highway in Sweden. The winter salt spreading has caused a regular salinity increase through the years. For imaging the transport of saltwater in the aquifer, the sections were measured exactly in the same location before and after winter, and interpreted using a time-lapse inverse procedure. Some auger drilling and RCPT data were available for correlation. After winter, the resistivity had generally decreased under the water table and increased above it. The decrease in resistivity in the saturated zone is interpreted as a plume of more saline groundwater created by de-icing salt from the road. The increase in the upper layer can be explained by changes in temperature and soil moisture. The study shows that time-lapse resistivity investigations has potential for imaging hydraulic pathways in complex hydrogeological environments.

Keywords: Resistivity - Salinization - Glaciofluvial sediments - Groundwater monitoring - Seasonal variations

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