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Electrical Geophysical Methods to Evaluate Soil Pollution from Gas and Oil Mining

transect across bitumen polluted soil and brune collectorElectrical geophysical methods were successfully used for exploration of gas and oil fields (Kalenev, 1970). However, the methods are not widely used for estimation of the soil pollution with petroleum products (Znamensky, 1980; Pozdnyakov et al., 1996a). The possibility of using the methods of electrical resistivity to evaluate the places of petroleum pollution or natural petroleum and gas deposits is based on highly different resistivities of soil and petroleum products. Petroleum and various products of petroleum manufacture, such as oil, gasoline, bitumen, and kerosene have very high electrical resistivity compared with soils. Electrical resistivity of petroleum varies from 104 to 1019 ohm m (Fedinsky, 1967), whereas resistivity of petroleum-saturated sand is much lower (2200 ohm m) (Znamensky, 1980), but is still higher than that of any non-polluted soil.

Soil pollution by the products of gas and petroleum mining was studied near Urengoi in northwest Siberia, Russia. The virgin soils, Glacic and Aquic Haplorthels, were extremely polluted with various by-products of petroleum extraction and manufacturing, such as bitumen, gasoline, kerosene, and mining brine solutions. The study area was thoroughly investigated with four-electrode profiling on 1.2-m array and vertical electrical sounding.

Location

Urengoj 65° 57' 27" N, 78° 23' 4.2" E

Mapping Alluvial Soils of Humid Areas with Electrical Geophysical Methods

Valley soils of humid areas are comprised of various peat and sandy soils of alluvial or lacustrine origins. These soils are located in subordinated positions in a landscape and accumulated high amounts of organic matter and mineral nutrients. Fluctuation of the river bed in space often causes highly complex soil cover in a valley. Studying those soils with conventional methods of soil mapping is very time and resource consuming. Therefore, we tested the electrical geophysical methods of non-contact electrical profiling (NEP) and electrical profiling (EP) for mapping peat and mineral alluvial soils formed in the glacial valley of Yachroma river.

The distinction in botanical structure of peat and hydrology conditions at the different zones of the valley causes distinction in physical and chemical properties of sedge-mossy, grass-woody, and mineral-peat layered soils (Figure).  The sedge-mossy peat typically has lower ash content and bulk density, and higher water content, than the grass-woody peat. Electrical resistivity of sedge-mossy peat soil is minimal (<20 ohm m) in comparison with resistivity of grass-woody (30-40 ohm m) and mineral-peat layered soils (50-60 ohm m).

Location

CPBRS Горшково, MOS 56° 22' 30.2448" N, 37° 25' 8.724" E

Electrical Geophysical Methods in Agriculture

Agriculture: a budding field in geophysicsMapping alluvial soils of humid areas with electrical geophysical methods: We tested the electrical geophysical methods of non-contact electrical profiling (NEP) and electrical profiling (EP) for mapping peat and mineral alluvial soils formed in the glacial valley of Yachroma river. More >>

Vertical Electrical Sounding to detect groundwater levels in arid areas: The approximate location of the groundwater table was estimated by a visual inspection of the VES curve. The AB/2 value with the sharp change to the low resistivity (3-20 ohm m) was selected from each VES profile...More >>

Evaluation of stone contents in soils with electrical geophysical methods to aid orchard planning: Geophysical methods of electrical resistivity, such as VES and four-electrode profiling provided the information about spatial distributions of stones in skeletal soils.  High resistivity will indicate the presence of stones in soil profiles. More >>

Application of the geophysical methods of electrical resistivity in precision farming:  One of the challenges facing the adoption of precision agriculture technology is the identification of productivity-related variability of soil properties accurately and cost-effectively. More >>

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