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Title: Using electrokinetic phenomena and electrical resistance tomography to characterize the movement of subsurface fluids

This invention relates generally to the remote detections of subsurface liquid contaminants using in combination a geophysical technique known as ERT and an EKS. Electrokinetic transport is used to enhance the ability of electrical resistance tomography (ERT) to detect position and movement of subsurface contaminant liquids, particles or ions. ERT images alone are difficult to interpret because of natural inhomogeneities in soil composition and electrical properties. By subtracting two or more ERT images obtained before and after field induced movement, a high contrast image of a plume of distinct electrokinetic properties can be seen. The invention is applicable to important subsurface characterization problems including, as examples, (1) detection of liquid-saturated plumes of contaminants such as those associated with leaks from underground storage tanks containing hazardous concentrated electrolytes, (2) detection and characterization of soils contaminated with organic pollutants such as droplets of gasoline; and (3) monitoring the progress of electrokinetic containment or clean up of underground contamination.
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. (Pleasanton, CA)
  2. (Oakland, CA)
  3. (Livermore, CA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Regents of University of California (Oakland, CA) LLNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5495175
Contract Number:
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
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