Monitoring tracers with time-lapse electrical methods: Issues with reactions and surface conductance

Kamini Singha, Li Li, Frederick D. Day-Lewis, Aaron B. Regberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tracer tests are frequently used in hydrogeology to quantify subsurface processes. These tracers are frequently assumed to travel conservatively with groundwater; however, this assumption requires additional study in the context of electrical geophysical monitoring. Tracers may undergo reactive processes, such as ion exchange, thus changing the aqueous composition of the system, and consequently the fluid and bulk electrical conductivity. As a result, the measured electrical conductivity may not only reflect solely solute transport but also reactive processes. Here, we evaluate the impacts of ion exchange reactions, rate-limited mass transfer, and surface conduction on quantifying tracer mass, mean arrival time, and temporal variance using electrical methods in synthetic column experiments. Numerical examples that (1) ion exchange can lead to resistivity-estimated tracer mass, velocity, and dispersivity that may be inaccurate; (2) mass transfer leads to an overestimate in the mobile tracer mass and an underestimate in velocity when using electrical methods; and (3) surface conductance does not degrade moment estimates when high-concentration tracers are used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Exploration Geophysicists International Exposition and 82nd Annual Meeting 2012, SEG 2012
PublisherSociety of Exploration Geophysicists
Pages4000-4005
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781622769452
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012
EventSociety of Exploration Geophysicists International Exposition and 82nd Annual Meeting 2012, SEG 2012 - Las Vegas, United States
Duration: Nov 4 2012Nov 9 2012

Publication series

NameSociety of Exploration Geophysicists International Exposition and 82nd Annual Meeting 2012, SEG 2012

Other

OtherSociety of Exploration Geophysicists International Exposition and 82nd Annual Meeting 2012, SEG 2012
CountryUnited States
CityLas Vegas
Period11/4/1211/9/12

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics

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