Impact of small-scale saline tracer heterogeneity on electrical resistivity monitoring in fully and partially saturated porous media: Insights from geoelectrical milli-fluidic experiments

Impact of small-scale saline tracer heterogeneity on electrical resistivity monitoring in fully... Time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) is a geophysical method widely used to remotely monitor the migration of electrically-conductive tracers and contaminant plumes in the subsurface. Interpretations of time-lapse ERT inversion results are generally based on the assumption of a homogeneous solute concentration below the resolution limits of the tomogram depicting inferred electrical conductivity variations. We suggest that ignoring small-scale solute concentration variability (i.e., at the sub-resolution scale) is a major reason for the often-observed apparent loss of solute mass in ERT tracer studies. To demonstrate this, we developed a geoelectrical milli-fluidic setup where the bulk electric conductivity of a 2D analogous porous medium, consisting of cylindrical grains positioned randomly inside a Hele–Shaw cell, is monitored continuously in time while saline tracer tests are performed through the medium under fully and partially saturated conditions. High resolution images of the porous medium are recorded with a camera at regular time intervals, and provide both the spatial distribution of the fluid phases (aqueous solution and air), and the saline solute concentration field (where the solute consists of a mixture of salt and fluorescein, the latter being used as a proxy for the salt concentration). Effective bulk electrical conductivities computed numerically from the measured solute concentration field and the spatial distributions of fluid phases agree well with the measured bulk conductivities. We find that the effective bulk electrical conductivity is highly influenced by the connectivity of high electrical conductivity regions. The spatial distribution of air, saline tracer fingering, and mixing phenomena drive temporal changes in the effective bulk electrical conductivity by creating preferential paths or barriers for electrical current at the pore-scale. The resulting heterogeneities in the solute concentrations lead to strong anisotropy of the effective bulk electrical conductivity, especially for partially saturated conditions. We highlight how these phenomena contribute to the typically large apparent mass loss observed when conducting field-scale time-lapse ERT. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Advances in Water Resources Elsevier

Impact of small-scale saline tracer heterogeneity on electrical resistivity monitoring in fully and partially saturated porous media: Insights from geoelectrical milli-fluidic experiments

Loading next page...
 
/lp/elsevier/impact-of-small-scale-saline-tracer-heterogeneity-on-electrical-6Rr1u0P8uj
Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0309-1708
eISSN
1872-9657
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.advwatres.2018.01.014
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) is a geophysical method widely used to remotely monitor the migration of electrically-conductive tracers and contaminant plumes in the subsurface. Interpretations of time-lapse ERT inversion results are generally based on the assumption of a homogeneous solute concentration below the resolution limits of the tomogram depicting inferred electrical conductivity variations. We suggest that ignoring small-scale solute concentration variability (i.e., at the sub-resolution scale) is a major reason for the often-observed apparent loss of solute mass in ERT tracer studies. To demonstrate this, we developed a geoelectrical milli-fluidic setup where the bulk electric conductivity of a 2D analogous porous medium, consisting of cylindrical grains positioned randomly inside a Hele–Shaw cell, is monitored continuously in time while saline tracer tests are performed through the medium under fully and partially saturated conditions. High resolution images of the porous medium are recorded with a camera at regular time intervals, and provide both the spatial distribution of the fluid phases (aqueous solution and air), and the saline solute concentration field (where the solute consists of a mixture of salt and fluorescein, the latter being used as a proxy for the salt concentration). Effective bulk electrical conductivities computed numerically from the measured solute concentration field and the spatial distributions of fluid phases agree well with the measured bulk conductivities. We find that the effective bulk electrical conductivity is highly influenced by the connectivity of high electrical conductivity regions. The spatial distribution of air, saline tracer fingering, and mixing phenomena drive temporal changes in the effective bulk electrical conductivity by creating preferential paths or barriers for electrical current at the pore-scale. The resulting heterogeneities in the solute concentrations lead to strong anisotropy of the effective bulk electrical conductivity, especially for partially saturated conditions. We highlight how these phenomena contribute to the typically large apparent mass loss observed when conducting field-scale time-lapse ERT.

Journal

Advances in Water ResourcesElsevier

Published: Mar 1, 2018

References

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off