Development of a High-Density Electrical Resistivity Tomography (HERT) System for Monitoring Model-Scale Seepage and Solute Transport

  • Tingfa LiuEmail author
  • Yanxia Nie
  • Liming Hu
  • Qiyou Zhou
  • Qingbo Wen
Conference paper
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) method has been recognised as a robust technique with unique features for achieving three-dimensional noninvasive measurements and enabling multi-scale characterisation of a range of soil or fluid properties linked to electrical resistivity. This paper introduces a research programme established to develop a versatile high-density ERT (HERT) system for studying model-scale flow and solute transport phenomena under normal and accelerated gravity (in a geotechnical centrifuge) conditions. The programme consisted of element-scale calibration tests and a suite of 1D and 3D infiltration model tests using fine glass ballotini and composite soils as model soils. Illustrative results from a centrifuge soil column test indicated that the moisture migration and redistribution process at different accelerated gravity levels can be reasonably well represented by the time lapse resistivity profiles obtained from the HERT system. Further research is underway to explore the method’s full potential in other studies related to subsurface seepage and solute transport with varied boundary conditions.


Soil resistivity Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) method Centrifuge model tests Moisture migration Solute transport 



The authors are grateful to the invaluable technical support from Mr. Kunting Yin, Mrs. He Lv, Mr. Ruihua Zheng, Dr. Aixia Wang and Mr. Jizeng Dong in the Department of Hydraulic Engineering of Tsinghua University. Financial supports from National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2012CB719804), State Key Laboratory of Hydro-Science and Engineering (SKLHSE-2012-KY-01, 2013-D-01), and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 51323014, 51661165015) are greatly acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tingfa Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yanxia Nie
    • 3
  • Liming Hu
    • 4
  • Qiyou Zhou
    • 5
  • Qingbo Wen
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Assistant, Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Formerly State Key Laboratory of Hydro-Science and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Geotechnical Engineer, China Construction First Group, Construction & Development Co, Ltd, Formerly State Key Laboratory of Hydro-Science and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Hydro-Science and Engineering, Department of Hydraulic EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  5. 5.School of Earth Sciences and EngineeringNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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