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Title: Optimal joule heating of the subsurface

A method for simultaneously heating the subsurface and imaging the effects of the heating. This method combines the use of tomographic imaging (electrical resistance tomography or ERT) to image electrical resistivity distribution underground, with joule heating by electrical currents injected in the ground. A potential distribution is established on a series of buried electrodes resulting in energy deposition underground which is a function of the resistivity and injection current density. Measurement of the voltages and currents also permits a tomographic reconstruction of the resistivity distribution. Using this tomographic information, the current injection pattern on the driving electrodes can be adjusted to change the current density distribution and thus optimize the heating. As the heating changes conditions, the applied current pattern can be repeatedly adjusted (based on updated resistivity tomographs) to affect real time control of the heating.
 [1];  [2]
  1. (Danville, CA)
  2. (Livermore, CA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) LLNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5325918
Contract Number:
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
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