High Frequency Electromagnetic Impedance Imaging for Vadose Zone and Groundwater Characterization

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Accurate description of transport pathways on the gross scale, the location of contamination, and characterization of heterogeneity within the vadose zone, are now realized as vital for proper treatment, confinement and stabilization of subsurface contamination at Department of Energy (DOE) waste sites. Electromagnetic (EM) methods are ideal for these tasks since they are directly sensitive to the amount of fluid present in porous media, as well as fluid composition. At many DOE sites it is necessary to employ lower frequency (<1 MHz) or diffusive electromagnetic fields because of the inability of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to penetrate to sufficient depths. ... continued below

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Newman, Gregory A.; Nichols, Edward; Alumbaugh, David L. & Hoversten, G. Michael June 15, 2001.

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Description

Accurate description of transport pathways on the gross scale, the location of contamination, and characterization of heterogeneity within the vadose zone, are now realized as vital for proper treatment, confinement and stabilization of subsurface contamination at Department of Energy (DOE) waste sites. Electromagnetic (EM) methods are ideal for these tasks since they are directly sensitive to the amount of fluid present in porous media, as well as fluid composition. At many DOE sites it is necessary to employ lower frequency (<1 MHz) or diffusive electromagnetic fields because of the inability of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to penetrate to sufficient depths. The high frequency impedance method, which operated in the diffusive frequency range (10 Hz to 1 MHz), as well as the low end of the spectrum employed by GPR (1MHz-10 MHz), is an ideal technique to delineate and map the aforementioned targets. The method has clearly shown the potential to provide needed information on variations in subsurface saturation due to local storage tanks and perched water zones, as well as mapping geological structures related to the subsurface hydrological properties and heterogeneity within the vadose zone. Although it exhibits certain advantages over other EM methods, the impedance method comes with a set of assumptions and practices that can limit its potential. The first is the desire to locate receivers in the far-field of the transmitter which allows the use of magnetotelluric (MT) inversion codes to interpret the data. Unfortunately, one does not precisely know when one is in the far-field of the transmitter, because this depends on the geology we wish to image. The second limiting factor is the scarcity of complete 2D and 3D inversion schemes necessary to properly invert the data. While approximate 2D schemes are now emerging, rigorous 2D and 3D inversion codes are needed to bound the range of applicability of the approximate methods. We propose to address these problems in the following manner: (1) implement full non-linear 2D/3D inverse solutions that incorporate source coordinates and polarization characteristics, (2) use these solutions to study improvements in image resolution that can be obtained by making measurements in the near- and mid-field regimes using multiple source fields, (3) collect data at the Hanford Reservation with recently developed earth impedance measurement systems, and (4) interpret the field data with the newly developed inversion capability, as well as with additional and independent information such as well logs from boreholes. The benefit of this research to the DOE would be a combined measurement/interpretation package for non-invasive, high-resolution characterization of larger transport pathways, certain types of contamination, and heterogeneity within the vadose zone at the Hanford reservation, as well as other DOE facilities.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 15 Jun 2001

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  • Report No.: EMSP-70220--2001
  • Grant Number: FG07-99ER15021
  • DOI: 10.2172/833674 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 833674
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc786631

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  • June 15, 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 21, 2016, 2:10 p.m.

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Newman, Gregory A.; Nichols, Edward; Alumbaugh, David L. & Hoversten, G. Michael. High Frequency Electromagnetic Impedance Imaging for Vadose Zone and Groundwater Characterization, report, June 15, 2001; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786631/: accessed October 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.