Time-lapse electrical resistivity anomalies due to contaminant transport around landfills

M. Radulescu, C. Valerian, J. Yang


The extent of landfill leachate can be delineated by geo-electrical imaging as a response to the varying electrical
resistivity in the contaminated area. This research was based on a combination of hydrogeological numerical
simulation followed by geophysical forward and inversion modeling performed to evaluate the migration of
a contaminant plume from a landfill. As a first step, groundwater flow and contaminant transport was simulated
using the finite elements numerical modeling software FEFLOW. The extent of the contaminant plume was acquired
through a hydrogeological model depicting the distributions of leachate concentration in the system.
Next, based on the empirical relationship between the concentration and electrical conductivity of the leachate
in the porous media, the corresponding geo-electrical structure was derived from the hydrogeological model. Finally,
forward and inversion computations of geo-electrical anomalies were performed using the finite difference
numerical modeling software DCIP2D/DCIP3D. The image obtained by geophysical inversion of the electric data
was expected to be consistent with the initial hydrogeological model, as described by the distribution of
leachate concentration. Numerical case studies were conducted for various geological conditions, hydraulic parameters
and electrode arrays, from which conclusions were drawn regarding the suitability of the methodology
to assess simple to more complex geo-electrical models. Thus, optimal mapping and monitoring configurations
were determined.


landfill;hydrogeological modeling;salinity;resistivity;geophysical forward and inverse modeling

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-3075
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X