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