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Electrical resistivity survey in soil science: a review

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Soil and Tillage Research, Volume 83, Issue 2, p.173 - 193 (2005)

ISBN:

01671987

URL:

http://academic.research.microsoft.com/Publication/10380505/electrical-resistivity-survey-in-soil-science-a-review

Abstract:

Electrical resistivity of the soil can be considered as a proxy for the spatial and temporal variability of many other soil physical properties (i.e. structure, water content, or fluid composition). Because the method is non-destructive and very sensitive, it offers a very attractive tool for describing the subsurface properties without digging. It has been already applied in various contexts like: groundwater exploration, landfill and solute transfer delineation, agronomical management by identifying areas of excessive compaction or soil horizon thickness and bedrock depth, and at least assessing the soil hydrological properties. The surveys, depending on the areas heterogeneities can be performed in one-, two- or three-dimensions and also at different scales resolution from the centimetric scale to the regional scale. In this review, based on many electrical resistivity surveys, we expose the theory and the basic principles of the method, we overview the variation of electrical resistivity as a function of soil properties, we listed the main electrical device to performed one-, two- or three-dimensional surveys, and explain the basic principles of the data interpretation. At least, we discuss the main advantages and limits of the method.