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CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND TO STUDY
In previous studies, attempts have been made at comparing the ability of different electrode
arrays to resolve, map or identify subsurface targets (Seaton and Burbey 2002; Dahlin and
Zhou 2004; Candansayar 2008). The electrical resistivity imaging technique is considered a
relatively new geophysical method, which has evolved rapidly over the past years. The
electrical resistivity method is widely used in the investigation and detection of targets at
shallow depth. The method aims to determine the variation of the subsurface resistivity by
conducting measurements at the ground surface or inside shallow boreholes. The electrical
method has been applied with great success in solving hydrogeological (Flathe, 1955; Dahlin
and Owen, 1998), geological (Caglar and Duvarci, 2001; Atzemoglou et al., 2003),
engineering and environmental problems (rogers and Kean, 1980; van et al., 1991; Ramirez
et al., 1996).
Most targets of environmental and engineering interest are at shallow depths. Geophysical
responses from near-surface sources usually treated as noise in traditional geophysical
exploration surveys are often the targets of interest in environmental and engineering
investigations. The subsurface geology can be complex, subtle, and multiscale such that
spatial variations can change rapidly both laterally and vertically. Thus, a closely spaced grid
of observation points is required for their accurate characterization, high spatial resolution of
the anomaly, and good target definition. Survey design in geoelectrical resistivity surveys
must take into account the capabilities of the data acquisition system, heterogeneities of the
subsurface electrical resistivities, and the resolution required. Other factors to be considered
are the area extent of the site to be investigated, the cost of the survey, and the time required
to complete the survey (Ahzegbobor, 2010)
The advent of fast processing computers allowed the development of automated resistivity
inversion schemes, which aim to construct an estimate of a subsurface resistivity distribution
that is consistent with the experimental data. Among others, the smoothness constraint
inversion (Constable et al., 1987) has become a popular technique for interpreting ERT data
because it produces a simplified subsurface resistivity model that is a reasonable

representation of the subsurface and at the same time guarantees inversion stability
archaeological sites (Clark, 1990).
The effectiveness and imaging capabilities of geoelectrical resistivity measurements for a
given configuration of electrodes can be evaluated using the anomaly effect

for an

effective geoelectrical resistivity survey, the value of the anomaly effect should be
significantly greater than the background noise of the electrode configuration. Thus,
anomaly effect is a measure of the signal-to-noise ratio of the electrode arrays and should
vary with different geological models for a given electrode configuration. Geoelectrical
resistivity data with high anomaly information usually produce good quality, high
resolution and reliable inversion images. Field measurements are often contaminated by
different kinds of noise; the noise characteristics being different for different
investigation sites but usually with a general trend, and depend on the electrode array
used for the measurements. Thus, the contamination of field observations with noise
generally depends on the potential values measured by a particular array, and hence the
observed apparent resistivity data (Militzer et al., 1979; Druskin, 1998, Storz et al., 2000;
Dahlin and Zhou, 2004).
Dahlin and Loke, 1998; Olayinka and Yaramanci, 2000 stressed the importance of the
sampling density in determining the resolution of this configuration. Recent studies have
shown that by using a large set of well-distributed and spaced measurements, it is generally
possible to obtain relatively accurate 2D or 3D resistivity images of the subsurface (Daily
and Owen, 1991; Park and Van, 1991; Shima, 1992; Sasaki, 1994; Loke and barker, 1995,
1996; Labrecque et al., 1996; chambers et al., 1999; Dahlin and Zhou, 2004).

In order to obtain a high resolution and reliable image, the electrode array used should ideally
give data with the maximum anomaly information, reasonable data coverage and high signalnoise ratio. In imaging data acquisition, a multi-electrode cable with a fixed inter-electrode
spacing is often employed. Different data acquisition schemes with different electrode arrays
can be measured with such a system. Theoretically, a complete data set of an array
(consecutively using a and n) with low noise contamination is useful to obtain a highresolution image, but acquiring a large number of data points significantly increases the
fieldwork time even when using an automatic data acquisition system. On the other hand, a
large number of data points can also increase the difficulty in reaching a good data misfit
from an inversion and probably produce more artefacts due to the unknown characteristics
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of the noise contamination (Labrecque et al., 1996; Zhou and Dahlin, 2003).

In this study, four electrode configurations: Wenner, Wenner-schlumberger, Pole-dipole and


Dipole-dipole arrays were applied to map four different synthetic models in order to determine
the image capabilities and effectiveness of the four selected arrays.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM


The response of a geologic structure differs for all electrode configurations. In order to
determine the relative effectiveness and imaging capabilities of four selected arrays, four
synthetic models simulating different geological situations were designed.

1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES


The aim of this study is to apply four commonly used electrode configuration on synthetic
geologic structures in order to assess the efficiency and image capabilities of the selected
arrays.
.
The objectives of the study are to:
i) simulate different synthetic structures.
ii) execute forward modelling investigation over these structures.
iii) perform inverse modelling to obtain 2D resistivity structure of the simulated objects.
iv) determine the efficiency and imaging capabilities of the arrays used.

CHAPTER TWO
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
Several researchers have compared different electrode arrays individually on the basis of their
sensitivity analysis, depth of investigations, and responses to resolving vertical or horizontal
structures and have been reviewed in this study.

Backus and Gilbert (1967) introduced a linear inverse theory for geophysical problems. They
thoroughly discussed model resolution, least-squares fit of the data and solution uniqueness.
The method is valid even for noisy or insufficient data, and they quantified the trade-off
between resolution and stability for solutions to inverse problems. The Backus-Gilbert
approach, as do many others, suffers from the difficulty in estimating the degree of
smoothness for all admissible models; this is required to calculate the greatest deviation
between the estimated and true models.

Parker (1984) addressed the non-uniqueness of 1D inverse resistivity problems using bilayer
expansion method. His models consisted of layers having uniform thickness, and the solution
determined the optimum number of layers and layer thicknesses that would minimize the
deviation in a least-squares manner.

Assal and Mahmoud (1987) developed an algorithm for interpretation of resistivity data over
a layered model, setting the thickness of each successive layer equal to the required depth
resolution. They derived spectral reflection coefficients at the earths surface for the model.
These coefficients are functions of the resistivity ratios of adjacent layers and are used in the
evaluation of model parameters. Their results indicated that the algorithm is suitable for
continuously varying resistivity with depth.

Zhou and Greenhalgh (2000) studied some specified electrode configurations for crosshole
resistivity imaging. Obviously, a comprehensive comparison of the imaging abilities is
needed to know the behavior of these electrode arrays for practical imaging applications.
More research should be made in the use of these arrays for imaging so that their
characteristics can be more fully known. in this way one can predict which features of the
earth model can be resolved and which details cannot be resolved from the imaging surveys
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using these electrode arrays. Also, we should know the spatial resolutions and the noise
sensitivities of the arrays for fieldwork design and data interpretation.

Dahlin and Zhou (2004) performed various numerical simulations to compare the resolution
and efficiency of resistivity imaging surveys for ten different electrode arrays: polepole,
poledipole, half-wenner, wenner, wenner-schlumberger, dipoledipole, wenner-, -array,
moving gradient and midpoint-potential-referred measurement arrays. They recommended
the moving gradient, poledipole, dipoledipole and wenner-schlumberger arrays, rather than
the others, for resistivity imaging, although the final choice should be determined by the type
of geology expected, the purpose of the survey and logistical considerations.

Stummer et al. (2004) estimated that electrical resistivity data acquired using a large number
of four-point electrode arrays gave substantial subsurface information compared to the data
sets obtained from both individual arrays, such as the wenner, dipole-dipole or a combination
of the wenner and dipole-dipole Arrays.

Adeyemi et al. (2006) carried out a direct laboratory modeling of the spontaneous potential
(SP) and electrical resistivity responses of a thick conductor with different attitudes was
carried out. The aim of the investigation was to obtain characteristic signatures that may be
diagnostic of similar geological targets. The method of investigation involved the burial of
the conductor at different angles of inclination in sand within a model tank. Measurements
were then taken across the conductor and the obtained data were used to generate profiles.
The profiles were then interpreted both qualitatively and semi-quantitatively. The results
indicate that, on the one hand, SP profiles delineate the conductor better giving the location,
information on the magnitude and direction of inclination, and quantitative estimation of the
depth of burial. The resistivity profiles, on the other hand, roughly indicated the direction of
inclination and location of the conductor. The study concludes that the SP method is suitable
for the investigation of sheet-like targets of different attitude, since the results are amenable
to both quantitative and qualitative interpretations.
Wilkinson et al. (2006) provided two strategies for obtaining the maximum spatial resolution
in electrical resistivity tomography surveys using a limited number of four-electrode
measurement configurations. Both methods use a linear estimate of the model resolution
matrix to assess the effects of including a given electrode configuration in the measurement
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set. The algorithms are described in detail, and their execution times are analyzed in terms of
the number of cells in the inverse model. One strategy directly compares the model resolution
matrices to optimize the spatial resolution. The other uses approximations based on the
distribution and linear independence of the Jacobian matrix elements. The first strategy
produces results that are nearer to optimal, but the second is several orders of magnitude
faster. Significantly however, both offer better optimization performance than a similar,
previously published, method. Realistic examples are used to compare the results of each
algorithm. Synthetic data are generated for each optimized set of electrodes using simple
forward models containing resistive and/ or conductive prisms. By inverting the data, it is
demonstrated that the linearized model resolution matrix yields a good estimate of the actual
resolution obtained in the inverted image. Furthermore, comparison of the inversion results
confirms that the spatial distribution of the estimated model resolution is a reliable indicator
of tomographic image quality.
Ahzegbolor (2010) carried out a field design using 2D and 3D geoelectrical resistivity
imaging. He deployed the use of various arrays such as the wenner array, schlumberger array,
dipole-dipole array, pole dipole array and pole-pole array. He was able to distinguish which
method has a better lateral and/or vertical resolution.

2.1 PRINCIPLE OF RESISTIVITY METHODS


Direct current (DC) resistivity methods use artificial sources of current to produce an
electrical potential field in the ground. In almost all resistivity methods, a current is
introduced into the ground through current electrodes (C1, C2) and the potential field is
measured using two potential electrodes (P1and P2), as shown in Figure. 2.1. The source
current can be direct current or low-frequency (0.1 - 30 Hz) alternating current. The aim of
generating and ensuring the electrical potential field is to determine the spatial resistivity
distribution (or its reciprocal - conductivity) in the ground. As the potential between P1and
P2, the current introduced through C1and C2, and the electrode configuration are known, the
resistivity of the ground can be determined; this is referred to as the apparent resistivity
(Kearey and Brooks, 1991).

Figure 2.1: Principle of Resistivity Measurement with a Four-Electrode Array (Keary and
brooks, 1991)

2.2 PHYSICAL BASICS OF RESISTIVITY METHOD


Ohms law describes the electrical properties of any medium. Ohms law, V = I R, relates the
voltage of a circuit to the product of the current and the resistance. This relationship holds for
earth materials as well as simple circuits. Resistance, however, is not a material constant.
Instead, resistivity is an intrinsic property of the medium describing the resistance of the
medium to the flow of electric current. It was further shown that for a given material, the
resistance R is proportional to the length L and inversely proportional to the cross sectional
area a of the conductor, expressed in the following equations (Equations 2.1 and 2.2)
resistivity is defined as a unit change in resistance scaled by the ratio of a unit cross-sectional
area and a unit length of the material through which the current is passing. Resistivity is
measured in ohm-m or ohm-ft., and is the reciprocal of the conductivity of the material.

L
A

(2.1)

AR
L
The proportionality constant

(2.2)

is the resistivity of the conductor measured in ohm-meter

(m). It is a physical property characteristic to the material of the conductor, which expresses
its ability to oppose a flow of current as represented in Figure 2.1. The inverse of resistivity

is the conductivity (Siemens per meter) of the material (Lowrie, 1997).

(2.3)

Figure 2.2: Parameters used in Ohms Law definition (Loke, 2000)

It can be deduced from the Figure. 2.2, that electric field e can be expressed as in equation 2.4
(2.4)

V
E
L
where J Current Density,

I
A

(2.5)

Inserting equation (2.1) into equation (2.2), and rearranging the terms, we have

V
I

L
A
8

(2.6)

Thus, substituting for equation (2.4) and (2.5) in equation (2.6), ohms law can then be
rewritten as

E J

(2.7)

This form is very useful in calculating the formulas used in resistivity methods of electrical
method of electrical surveying. However, the measured quantities are v and i (Loke, 1997;
Lowrie, 1997).

With an electrical current passed in to the ground via two electrodes known as current
electrodes, the two potential electrodes record the resultant potential difference between
them, depending on the arrangement or configuration of these pairs of electrodes, the current
and potential measurements may be used to calculate resistivity (Zohdy et al., (1974).
Therefore, a direct measure of electric impedance of the subsurface material (Dobrin and
Savit, 1988) can be obtained. This method is based on the fact that there is a large contrast in
resistivity values of the different layers in the subsurface and is also used to characterize
vertical and lateral changes in the subsurface electrical properties. Figure 2.3 shows the
general configuration of the four surface electrodes in linear resistivity surveys. Current is
delivered through the electrode A and B, and the voltage readings are made with electrodes
M and N.

Figure 2.3: Diagram showing basic concept of resistivity measurement (Herman, 2001).

BM = distance between electrodes B and M, BN = distance between electrodes B and N


AN = distance between electrodes A and N.

As illustrated in Figure 2.3, the current electrodes A and B act as source and sink,
respectively. At the detection electrode M, the potential due to the source A is shown in
equation 2.8a:
9

1
2 AM

(2.8a)

While the potential due to the sink B is expressed in equation 2.8b:

(2.8b)

1
2 MB

Thus, the combined potential at M is given as expressed in equation 2.9:

VM

1
1
(

)
2 AM MB

(2.9)

Similarly, the resultant potential at N is revealed in equation 2.10,

VN

1
1
(

)
2 AN NB

1
1
1
1
( AM MB ) ( AN NB )

V
I

1
1
1
1
( AM MB ) ( AN NB )

(2.10)

(2.11)

(2.12)

The factor K is expressed in equation 2.13:

2
1
1
1
1
(

)(

)
AM MB
AN NB

(2.13)

K is called the Geometric Factor of the electrode arrangement. Equation 2.12, can be
rewritten as equation 2.14

V
I

10

(2.14)

Equation 2.12 gives the formula for the resistivity of a perfectly uniform conducting half
space. In real situation, the resistivity is determined by different lithologies and geological
structures and may be very inhomogeneous. The complexity is not taken into account when
measuring resistivity with the four-electrode method shown above, which assumes the ground
as uniform. The result of such a measurement is apparent resistivity of an equivalent uniform
half space and generally does not represent the true resistivity of any part of the ground
(Zohdy et al., 1974).

The value of apparent resistivity is a function of several variables; the electrode spacing, the
geometry of the electrode array, and the true resistivity and other characteristics of subsurface
material, such a layer thickness, angle of dip, anisotropic properties. The apparent resistivity,
depending on the electrode configuration and on the geology, may be crude average of the
true resistivities in the section, maybe larger or smaller than any of the true resistivities, or
may be negative (Lowrie, 1997).

2.3 BRIEF OVERVIEW OF METHOD DEVELOPMENT


The improvement of electrical tomography began with the presence of the multi-anode
frameworks (Griffiths and Turnbull, 1985) with similarly dispersed terminals and just as
separated pseudo-depth. Computer-controlled data acquisition can give very proficient and
savvy field estimations. Electrical tomography information can be deciphered utilizing
fitting inversion technique. There are three methodologies: one-dimensional, twodimensional and three-dimensional inversion. One-dimensional inversion is normally in
view of programmed understanding of electrical sounding information. The pseudo-section
is viewed as a progression of nearly dispersed electrical soundings, which have been
removed one after another. After automatic interpretation of each sounding, the interpreted
data is merged to form a quasi-2- d section. One-dimensional inversion is usually based on
Zohdys automatic interpretation of electrical sounding (Zohdy, 1989).

2.4

2D RESISTIVITY IMAGING SURVEY

2D electrical imaging surveys (Figure. 2.4) are widely implemented for mapping areas with
complex geological structures where the traditional 1d resistivity soundings surveys are not
sufficiently accurate. It has become a standard geophysical technique (Dahlin, 1996). Two
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dimensional electrical imaging surveys model are more accurate than 1d resistivity sounding
of surveys as it allows horizontal as well as vertical resistivity variations. Typical 1d (Figure
2.5a) resistivity sounding surveys usually involve approximately 10 to 20 readings, while the
2d imaging surveys contain 100 to 1000 measurements. The 2d electrical imaging method has
many applications such as mapping freshwater aquifers, mapping of groundwater
contamination, investigating landslides and mapping unconsolidated sediments (Acworth,
1987; Johansson and Dahlin, 1996; Ritz et al., 1999). There have been many developments
over the past decade in instrumentation and interpretation techniques so that 2d resistivity
surveys can be carried out rapidly. In addition, some research studies have shown that a
number of 2d data sections can be merged into a 3d (Figure 2.5c) data set to produce a more
accurate 3d subsurface model (Dahlin and Loke, 1997).

Figure 2.4: A typical field arrangement for 2D electrical imaging survey (Loke, 2004).

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Figure 2.5: Three different models used in the interpretation of resistivity


measurements: (a) 1D model, (b) 2D model and (c) 3D model (Loke, 2004).

2.5 TWO-DIMENSIONAL ELECTRICAL MODELLING


In 2D electrical modelling, two approaches are applied in geophysical interpretation, the
forward modelling and inversion. For any given geological model, any geophysical
anomaly or field, a single-valued calculation is made. However, if there is a measured
geophysical anomaly or field, the solution is generally not single-valued, i.e. there are several
different geological models which cause the same geophysical anomaly. This is called an
ambiguity in interpretation. Forward modelling enabled the calculation, simulation of
measured pseudosections for any given block model in a homogenous environment, whereas
by means of inversion the detectability and recognition potential for a specific block.
Resistivity models are divided into a series of homogenous and isotropic elements, resulting
in a numerical model for whose solution either the finite difference method (Dey and
Morison, 1979; Loke, 1994) or the finite element method can be applied (Smith and Vozoff,
1984).

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In the finite difference method, a two-dimensional underground model is divided into a


network of rectangular blocks, and the calculation is performed on the node points with
defined parameters. In the finite element method, a model is divided into regular elements:
triangles, squares, rectangles, etc., while the parameters are defined according to the
elements, thus the calculation is related to them. The advantage of the finite difference
method is the easier data entry, whereas the finite element method enables a more accurate
calculation for complex models with irregular limits and sudden lateral changes in resistivity.
The modelling process has certain difficulties which need mentioning. The calculated
theoretical pseudosections are exposed to inversion the same as the actual measured data.
However, it was observed that there appear strong deformations on the model boundaries,
which depend on the input model (resistivity ratio) and the electrode array (Griffiths and
Barker, 1993).

2.6 ELECTRODE CONFIGURATIONS


The different arrays used in this study include, Wenner (WN), Pole-dipole (PD), Dipoledipole (DD) And Wenner-Schlumberger (SCH) Arrays.

2.6.1 WENNER ARRAY


The Wenner array (Figure 2.6a) comprises of four collinear, similarly separated electrodes.
The external two electrodes are normally the current (source) electrodes and the internal two
electrodes are the potential (collector) electrodes. The array dividing extends about the array
midpoint while keeping up a proportional dispersing between every electrode. The
advantages of the wenner array are that the apparent resistivity is effortlessly ascertained in
the field and the instrument affectability is not as urgent as with other array geometries. One
detriment of this array for 2-D overviews is the generally poor flat scope (horizontal
coverage) as the electrode separating is expanded. This could be an issue on the off chance
that you utilize a framework with a moderately little number of electrodes. The wenner array
is great in resolving vertical changes (i.e. Flat structures), yet moderately poor in identifying
horizontal changes (i.e. Restricted vertical structures). Contrasted with different arrays, the
wenner array has a moderate depth of investigation. The signal quality is contrarily relative to
the geometric factor (k) used to compute the apparent resistivity for the array. For the wenner

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array, the geometric factor is 2a, which is smaller than the geometric component for
different arrays. The wenner array has the most grounded signal quality (Loke 2004)

(a)

(b)

Figure 2.6: (a) Sensitivity plot of Wenner array (b) Wenner array (Milsom, 2007)

2.6.2 WENNER-SCHLUMBERGER ARRAY


This is a new hybrid between the wenner and schlumberger arrays (Pazdirek and Blaha 1996)
arising out of relatively recent work with electrical imaging surveys (Figure 2.7a). The
Wenner-schlumberger array has a somewhat better flat scope contrasted and the wenner
array. The affectability design, that is, the sensitivity pattern for the wenner-schlumberger
array (Figure 2.7b) is somewhat not quite the same as the wenner array with a slight vertical
ebb and flow underneath the focal point of the array, and marginally bring down affectability
values in the locales between the C1 and P1 (furthermore C2 and P2) electrodes. The signal
quality for this array is smaller than that of the wenner array; however it is higher than the
dipole-dipole array (Milsom, 2007).

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(a)

(b)

Figure 2.7: (a) Schlumberger Array (b) Sensitivity plot of Schlumberger Array (Milsom, 2007),
2.6.3 Dipole- Dipole Array
The Dipole-dipole array (Figure 2.8a) has a low E.M. Coupling between the potential and
current circuits. Due to this reason, it has been, is still, generally utilized as a part of
resistivity/I.P. Reviews. This array is most touchy (sensitive) to resistivity changes between
the electrodes in every dipole pair. The sensitivity (Figure. 2.8b) shape example is verging on
vertical. In this way the dipole-dipole array is extremely sensitive to horizontal changes in
resistivity, however generally harsh to vertical changes in the resistivity. This implies that it
is great in mapping vertical structures, for example, dykes and pits (cavities), however
generally poor in mapping horizontal structures, for example, ledges (sills) or sedimentary
layers. Basically, the dipole-dipole array gives insignificant data about the resistivity of the
locale encompassing the plotting point, and the circulation of the information focuses in the
pseudo segment plot does not mirror the subsurface region mapped by the obvious resistivity
estimations.

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(a)

(b)

Figure 2.8: (a) Dipole-dipole array (b) Sensitivity plot of Dipole-dipole Array (Milsom, 2007)

2.6.4 POLE-DIPOLE ARRAY


Pole-dipole array (Figure 2.9a) is an asymmetrical array, not at all like the other basic arrays
and over symmetrical structures; the apparent resistivity abnormalities are uneven in the
pseudo-section. In some cases, the model acquired after inversion can be affected by the
asymmetry in the deliberate apparent resistivity values. The impact of the asymmetry can be
wiped out by arranging electrodes in the reverse manner (Figure 2.9b). With the mix of
"forward" and "reverse" pole-dipole arrays, any predisposition in the model brought on by the
uneven way of the array can be eliminated. Pole-dipole array has a signal quality that is
essentially higher when contrasted with the dipole-dipole array furthermore it is not as
sensitive as pole-pole array to telluric noise; however the pole-dipole array has generally
great horizontal scope. The Pole-dipole array requires a remote electrode, the C2 electrode.
The separation between this electrode and the review line ought to be adequately far. For the
pole-dipole array, the impact of the C2 electrode is roughly relative to the square of
proportion of the C1-P1 separation to the C2-P1 separation (Loke, 2004).

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(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure 2.9: (a) The Forward Pole-Dipole Array (b) Reverse Pole-Dipole Arrays (c)
Sensitivity Plot Of Pole-Dipole Array (Milsom, 2007)

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2.7 SENSITIVITY AND RESOLUTION OF ELECTRODE ARRAYS


The depth of investigation, the sensitivity of the array to vertical and horizontal changes in
the subsurface resistivity, the horizontal data coverage and the signal strength are some of the
characteristics of an array that are to be considered. Depth of investigation is an important
parameter in any resistivity survey. Depth of investigation depends on the type of instrument,
electrode spacing and separation factor, property contrast, body geometry, data coverage and
signal-to-noise-ratio (Loke, 2004). The sensitivity function basically tells us the degree to
which a change in the resistivity of a section of the subsurface will influence the potential
measured by the array. The higher the value of the sensitivity function, the greater is the
influence of the subsurface region on the measurement (Loke, 2004)
The effective depth of investigation is increased as the distance between current source
electrodes and the potential electrodes is increased. The farther the distance, the greater the
vertical interval in which the current flows. As the separation between the electrodes is
incrementally changed, a different geological property is encountered and there would be a
contrast in resistivity measured. The depth of investigation, the sensitivity of the array to
vertical and horizontal changes in the subsurface resistivity, the horizontal data coverage and
the signal strength are some of the characteristics of an array that are to be considered. Depth
of investigation depends on the type of instrument, electrode spacing and separation factor,
property contrast, body geometry, data coverage and signal-to-noise-ratio (Loke, 2004).
Table 1 gives the median depth of investigation for the different arrays. This depth is not
dependent on the measured apparent resistivity or the resistivity of the homogeneous earth
model. The depth models are probably good enough for planning field surveys even it is
strictly valid only for a homogeneous earth model. The actual depth of investigation may be a
bit different if there are large resistivity contrasts near the surface.

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Table 1: The median depth of investigation (z/e) for the different arrays. L is the
total length of the array (Edwards, 1977).

2.8 FACTORS AFFECTING SENSITIVITY AND RESOLUTION


Factors affecting sensitivity and resolution the following are some of the factors that could
influence the sensitivity and resolution of 3d inversion in geoelectrical resistivity imaging:
(i) Data density and lateral coverage. The sensitivity of geoelectrical resistivity increases with
increasing data density relative to the grid size of the electrodes. The higher the lateral data
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coverage of an electrode array the greater the model sensitivity values that would be obtained
in the inversion.

(ii) Depth of penetration. The sensitivity of electrical resistivity of the subsurface for a given
electrode configuration generally decreases with depth of investigation. Thus, electrode
configurations with greater depth of penetration are largely less sensitive than those with less
depth of penetration for the same data level. (Spitzer, 1998).

(iii) Damping factor and noise contamination. The choice of the damping parameters for a
particular data set also affects the overall sensitivity of the resulting model resistivity values.
Appropriate damping factor that would yield the optimum sensitivity can be selected through
trial and error method, or with experience based on the knowledge of the geology. Noisy data
generally require a higher damping factor than less noisy data. Some arrays are more
sensitive to noise than others; the sensitivity of the arrays to noise contaminations can
significantly affect the sensitivity of the inversion models (Spitzer, 1998).

(iv) Inter-line spacing and electrodes grid size. In the case of 3D geoelectrical resistivity
imaging using orthogonal or parallel 2D profiles, the interline spacing relative to the
minimum electrode separation can significantly affect the overall sensitivity of the resulting
inversion models. (Spitzer, 1998).

(v) Geological conditions. The nature of the subsurface geology, geometry of subsurface
features, and the electrical properties (or resistivity contrast) of the anomalous body can also
significantly influence the overall sensitivity of the inversion models. The sensitivity values
of electrode configurations provide information on the section of the subsurface with the
greatest effect on the measured apparent resistivity values. Generally, the spatial sensitivity
patterns for homogeneous environments

are good approximations for moderate

conductivity/resistivity contrasts not exceeding 1: 10 if the source is located within


conductive material (Spitzer, 1998).

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2.9 APPLICATION OF 2D ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY METHOD


Electrical resistivity technique has ended up a standout amongst the most noteworthy
geophysical procedures for examining underground near-surface structures. It is a tool for
archaelogical, environmental and engineering site investigation to:

The Mapping of Freshwater Aquifers And Unconsolidated Sediments

The Detection of Pollution

The Characterization of Geologic Structures

The Characterization of Engineered Structures

Hydrogeological Studies

Investigate Building Foundation Site

Clarify The Location of Gold Deposits

Archaeological Investigations

2.10 LIMITATION OF ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY METHOD


The electrical resistivity technique has some natural impediments that identify the
arrangement and exactness that may be normal from it. Like all methods utilizing estimations
of a potential field, the value of a measurement acquired at any area represents a weighted
average of the effects created over a huge volume of material, with the adjacent segments
contributing most vigorously. Another element regular to all potential field geophysical
methods is that a specific dissemination of potential at the ground surface does not for the
most part have a unique interpretation. Information obtaining can be ease back contrasted
with other geophysical methods, in spite of the fact that the distinction is vanishing with the
most recent techniques.

Additionally the resistivity technique incorporates a more

troublesome interpretation in the vicinity of a perplexing topography and the presence of


natural currents and potentials. The circumstances may be hard to interpret, they are
additionally questionable, and along these lines independent geophysical and geologic
controls are important to separate between substantial options interpretations of resistivity
information

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CHAPTER THREE
3.0 METHODOLOGY
3.1 DATA GATHERING
Four synthetic geologic models were created on the basis of the assumed resistivity
distribution of the subsurface which was used to calculate the apparent resistivities by
employing three electrode configurations namely, the Dipole-dipole (DD), Schlumberger
(SCH), Pole-dipole (PD) and Wenner (WN). The synthetic models used in this study
represent some geological structures useful for Groundwater, Archaeological and
Environmental studies (Figure. 3.1, 3.2, 3.3 and 3.4). Tables 3.1 and 3.2 show the constructed
parameters of each model and Summary of parameters used during 2D resistivity inversions.
The four geologic synthetic models used in this study are as follows.

3.1.1 RESISTIVE BLOCK MODEL


The first model is a resistive block prism (Figure 3.1), buried in a low resistivity half space
homogenous medium. The resistivity of the block is 100 m and the surrounding background
10 m. The block prism is positioned between the 15th and 20th electrodes. The block is
buried below a depth of 1.2 m.

Figure 3.1: Resistive Block Model.

3.1.2 TWO RESISTIVE BLOCK MODEL


This model comprised two resistive blocks with resistivity estimations of 300 m and 500
m for the left and right squares separately implanted in a homogeneous foundation with
resistivity of 10 m. The left block was situated between the 10th and 14th electrodes with
23

thickness of 2.81 m. Then again, the right block was set somewhere around 20th and 24th
electrodes with a thickness of 1.17 m (figure 3.2).

Figure 3.2: Two Resistive Block Model.

3.1.3 THREE CONDUCTIVE BLOCK MODEL


Three blocks of different shapes and resistivities as shown in figure 3. The resistivities of the
blocks prisms were 10 m each. The blocks were embedded in a homogenous half space
conductive medium with resistivity of 100 m. The forward response of the model was used
to generate the synthetic resistivity dataset. The thicknesses of the block 1, 2, 3 are 1.59, 4.13,
and 3.96 respectively.

Figure 3.3: Three Resistive Blocks Model

24

3.1.4 DIPPING DYKE MODEL


A vertical dyke (Figure 3.4), of resistivity 500 m overlain by a layer of 300 m, across a
homogeneous medium with resistivity of 100m was simulated. The location of dyke lies
between 140-165 m along horizontal distance

Figure 3.4: Resistive Dyke Model.

Table 3.1 Parameters Of Models Along Horizontal Distance And The Assumed
Depth.
Model

One Block
Two
Block 1
Block
Block 2
Three
Block
Dyke

Block 1
Block 2
Block 3

Horizontal
Distance/Electrode
Location
15-20
11-15

Assumed
Depth (M)

Thickness (M)

Resistivity( m)

1.0
1.55

2.55
2.82

100
300

18-22

1.55

1.32

500

11-19
31-40
56-65
140-165

0.82
2.31
4.44
120

1.89
4.13
5.96

10
10
10
500

25

Table 3.2: Summary of parameters used during 2D resistivity inversions


(modified after Martorana et al., 2009)

Initial Damping Factor

0.25

Minimum Damping Factor

0.015

Convergence Limit

1.00

Minimum Change In Absolute Error


Number Of Iterations

3-7

Jacobian Matrix Is Recalculated For First Two Iterations


Increase Of Damping Factor With Depth

1.0500

Robust Data Inversion Constrain Is Used With Cut Off Factor

0.05

Robust Model Inversion Constrain Is Used With Cut-Off Factor

0.005

Extended Model Is Used


Effect Of Side Blocks Is Not Reduced
Normal Mesh Is Used
Finite Difference Method Is Used
Number Of Nodes Between Adjacent Electrodes
Logarithm Of Apparent Resistivity Used
Reference Resistivity Used Is The Average Of Minimum
And Maximum Values
Gauss - Newton Optimization Method

26

3.2

DATA PROCESSING

3.2.1 FORWARD MODELLING


The models used are subdivided into a number of rectangular blocks arranged in such a way
as to reflect the changes in resistivity distribution and to allow for reliable estimation of the
potential difference variations across the region. The calculation of the apparent resistivity
data used in constructing pseudo-sections was carried out using res2dmod software (Loke,
2007). Forward modelling estimates/predicts data on the basis of the known distribution of
model parameters and electrode configuration used. The forward modelling for the dc
potentials is accomplished using a finite difference (FD) technique to solve the partial
differential equation for charge distribution. Forward modelling includes mapping a model
space to the information space (Schwarzbach et al., 2005).

3.2.2 2D INVERSION METHOD


The RES2DINV inversion software was used to carry out least-square inverse modelling of
the four models obtained from the forwards modelling. It displays a measured apparent
resistivity pseudo-section, a calculated apparent resistivity pseudo-section and an inverse
model resistivity section. The RMS error is given by the difference between the measured
and the calculated apparent resistivity values. It generally decreases as the number of
iterations increases. To allow comparison of the models for different arrays, a range of three
to seven iterations were used during all inversions of the synthetic models. The inversion
problem is to discover resistivity estimations of the cells that have best wellness between the
measured and calculated apparent resistivity values. All inversions were performed with a 6%
Gaussian noise to simulate a close to real life geologic condition in order to compare the
image capabilities of each array.
.

27

CHAPTER FOUR
4.0 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 RESULTS
Figures 4.1-4.3 show the results of the inversion of images for four conventional arrays. The
arrays are Wenner, Wenner-Schlumberger, Dipole-Dipole and Pole-Dipole. Each of the 2D
resistivity images shows the distribution of resistivity, also the electrical contrast between the
target(s) and the host. A summary of the absolute error: a quantity that the inversion method
seeks to reduce in an attempt to find a better model after each iteration is presented in table
4.1. Tables 4.2 and 4.3 show summary of reconstructed resistivity of all models and pseudodepth respectively. Synthetic test allows us to compare the capabilities of the selected
electrode array and inversion settings to identify contact of geological layers.

4.2 DISCUSSION
4.2.1 RESISTIVITY STRUCTURES FOR A BLOCK MODEL
Figure 4.1 shows the inverted models for Wenner, Wenner-Schlumberger, Dipole-Dipole and
Pole-Dipole arrays, over a resistive synthetic block with resistivity and thickness of 100 m
and 2.55 m respectively, buried in a homogenous environment of resistivity 10 m. The unit
electrode spacing and the maximum electrode location are 1.00 m and 35.0m respectively.
The depth of measurement ranges from 0.259 m to 13.6 m. The inversion results show that
the models are well resolved. The Dipole-dipole array (Figure 4.1c), closely matches the
resistivity of the true block model (100 m) and the background environment (10 m). The
inverse resistivity modelled results show that for all the electrode configurations used in
mapping the resistive block, the dipole-dipole array with a RMS error of 4.7% (Table 4.1),
gives a better imaging resolution of the true model followed by Wenner, WennerSchlumberger and Pole-dipole arrays respectively.
The reconstructed resistivity value (Table 4.2) ranges from 4.67 m to 94 m, thus underestimating the true resistivity of 100 m. The pole-dipole has less resolution than the dipoledipole array but yields greater depth. Thus, in order to image such structure, the dipole-dipole
array is most suitable considering the image resolution and closeness to the true resistivity of
both the environment and buried block

28

Wenner

Figure 4.1: Inverse resistivity model of block of higher resistivity in a homogenous environment
of lower resistivity. (a) dipole-dipole, (b) pole-dipole, (c) wenner- schlumberger
(d) wenner arrays

29

4.2.2 RESISTIVITY STRUCTURE FOR TWO BLOCK MODEL


For the two resistive blocks model of resistivity 300 m and 500 m embedded in a
homogenous host environment of 10 m, the inversion results of reconstructed resistivities
are presented in Figure 4.2a-d. Depth of measurement ranges from 0.259 m to 13.6m (Table
4.3). The geometries of the blocks are fairly resolved in all the images. It is observed that all
the arrays almost depict the true geometries of the blocks. From the inversion results, it
shows that the Dipole-dipole, Wenner-Schlumberger and Pole-dipole arrays may be highly
considered best when mapping structures of different resistivity values in a homogenous
environment. Wenner array (Figure 4.2a), as observed possess a low spatial (lateral)
resolution and gives the lowest resistivity values of the blocks.

30

Wenner

Figure 4.2: Inverse resistivity model of blocks of higher resistivity in a homogenous environment of
lower resistivity, and theoretical pseudosection for (a) dipole-dipole, (b) pole-dipole,
(c) wenner-schlumberger (d) wenner arrays

31

4.2.3 RESISTIVITY STRUCTURE FOR THREE CONDUCTIVE BLOCK MODEL


The reconstructed resistivities of three conductive block model for each electrode
configurations are illustrated in Figure 4.3a-d. The pseudo-depth ranges from 0.259 m to 42.5
m while the reconstructed resistivity values (Table 4.2) are all underestimated. This is a
reflection of the effect of the background resistivity on the blocks. Irrespective of this
underestimation, resistivity value of the three blocks for Dipole-dipole inverse model with a
RMS error of 8.7% (Table 4.1) is closest to the true resistivity of the blocks while the images
of Wenner inverse model is not close to the true resistivity of the three blocks. Table 4.3
illustrates the pseudo depth of each array across the three conductive block model. Based on
the models image resolution produced by individual electrode configuration, the Dipoledipole array gives the best representation followed by Wenner-Schlumberger and Pole-dipole
array. The Wenner array gives the least representation of the true model due to its low lateral
resolution.

32

Wenner

Figure 4.3: inverse resistivity model of three conductive blocks in a homogenous environment of
high resistivity, and theoretical pseudosection for (A) dipole-dipole, (b) pole-dipole,
(c) wenner-schlumberger (d) wenner arrays

33

4.2.4 RESISTIVITY STRUCTURE FOR DYKE MODEL


The images of the vertical resistive dyke model of 500 m overlain by a top layer of 300
m, in a background of 100 m are shown in Figure 4.4. The modelled resistivity section of
the dipole-dipole with a RMS error of 12.8% (Table 4.2) corresponds best with the input
resistivity model followed by the Wenner-schlumberger and Wenner array. The reconstructed
resistivity of dipole-dipole, Pole-dipole, Wenner-schlumberger and Wenner arrays are 355
m, 312 m, 281 m, and 291 m respectively (Table 4.2), which indicate that the true
model resistivity of 500 m is underestimated. Wenner and Wenner-schlumberger produce a
clear image of the dike, both have distortions on each side of the dike (Figure 4a,b). The
modelled resistivity section for the Pole-dipole array gives the least agreement to the true
model. The Pseudo-Depth of each electrode configuration (Table 4.3), across the dyke model
ranges from 52.4 - 110 m.

34

Wenner

Fig 4.4: Model of a Dipping Dyke of Higher Resistivity, Overlain by a Resistive Layer, in a
Homogenous Environment of Lower Resistivity, and Theoretical Pseudosection for
(a) Dipole-Dipole, (b) Pole-Dipole, (c) Wenner-Schlumberger (d) Wenner Arrays

35

Table 4.1: RMS Errors (%) of Synthetic Models after Three Iterations
Model Type

DipoleDipole

WennerSchlumberger

Wenner

4.7

Forward
Pole
Dipole
4.9

Resistive Block
Model
Two Resistive Block
Model
3 Conductive Block
Model
Dyke Model

4.6

4.9

4.8

4.9

4.9

5.1

8.7

4.9

4.8

4.7

12.8

4.7

4.7

4.5

Table 4.2: Summary of Reconstructed Resistive for Models


Model

True
Resistivity

Reconstructed Resistivity
Wenner

One Block
Two
Block 1
Block Block 2

100
300

46.7
38.7

WennerSchlumberger
77.8
82.4

500

30.4

82.4

95.0

140

Three Block 1
Block Block 2
Block 3
Dyke

10
10
10
500

6.12
10.5
30.5

6.01
8.81
12.9

8.96
12.3
17.0

4.68
7.07
10.7

Table 4.3: Pseudo-Depth of Models


Model

Wenner

Pole-Dipole

6.75
6.75

WennerDipole-Dipole
Schlumberger
7.88
9.12
7.88
9.12

One Block
Two
Blocks
Three
Blocks
Dyke

19.6

19.6

42.5

42.5

52.4

59.9

110.2

110.2

36

13.6
13.6

DipoleDipole
94.1
98.7

PoleDipole
90.9
145

CHAPTER FIVE
5.0

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1

CONCLUSION

2D resistivity modeling of four electrode configurations has been carried out using synthetic
models in order to compare the imaging capabilities of the different arrays.
Generally, all electrode arrays are able to delineate the contact of two geologic units
especially with very high resistivity contrast; however, the image resolution for the location
of vertical (dyke) structure is dierent. The dipole-dipole array g i v e s the best
representation and is the most detailed method especially for the detection of vertical
structures such as dyke intrusions. This array shows the best in delineating the geometrical
characterisation of the dyke. The pole-dipole array gives somewhat less resolution than the
dipole-dipole array but yields greater signal strength; thus, the pole-dipole array may be a
good compromise between resolution and signal strength. The Pole-dipole has shown a n
e ffective method for detection of all vertical structures with high depth range. Wenner a r r a y shows
a low resolution, inconvenient for detailed investigation of dip structures and generally a
low spatial resolution. The W e n n e r - schlumberger array gives a good and sharp
resolution to assess the contact between two units but gives poor result for imaging
geometry of dipping contact.

RECOMMENDATION
From this study, it is recommended that the performance of all arrays at reproducing
resistivities and boundaries in the deep portions of the models be improved so that modeling
information would not be restricted to shallow to intermediate depth range. Also, the geologic
target should be in the middle of the data constrained region. In addition, future works in
synthetic modelling of electrical resistivity data should be improved in order to yeild more
efficient and reliable results.
Based on the findings of the current study, it is recommended that 2D electrical
resistivity surveys across horizontal structures such as, horizontal layers, and horizontal
boundaries between two geological bodies with contrasting resistivity, the use of Wenner
array is highly recommended. Wenner-Schlumberger array may also yield acceptable results

37

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