Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Surface geophysical surveys provide an effective way to image the subsurface and the ground water zone without a large number of observation wells. DC resistivity sounding generally identifies the subsurface formations—the aquifer zone as well as the formations saturated with saline/brackish water. However, the method has serious ambiguities in distinguishing the geological formations of similar resistivities such as saline sand and saline clay, or water quality such as fresh or saline, in a low resistivity formation. In order to minimize the ambiguity and ascertain the efficacy of data integration techniques in ground water and saline contamination studies, a combined geophysical survey and periodic chemical analysis of ground water were carried out employing DC resistivity profiling, resistivity sounding, and shallow seismic refraction methods. By constraining resistivity interpretation with inputs from seismic refraction and chemical analysis, the data integration study proved to be a powerful method for identification of the subsurface formations, ground water zones, the subsurface saline/brackish water zones, and the probable mode and cause of saline water intrusion in an inland aquifer. A case study presented here illustrates these principles. Resistivity sounding alone had earlier failed to identify the different formations in the saline environment. Data integration and resistivity interpretation constrained by water quality analysis led to a new concept of minimum resistivity for ground water-bearing zones, which is the optimum value of resistivity of a subsurface formation in an area below which ground water contained in it is saline/brackish and unsuitable for drinking.
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