We performed 2D resistivity and IP measurements over a known olive oil mill waste plume at a site in western Crete, Greece. The objectives of the survey were: (1) to determine whether IP is more diagnostic in delineating the spatial extent of the plume relative to resistivity measurements alone; (2) to evaluate whether the additional information content obtained from IP is worth the effort given longer data acquisition times and higher measurement errors that inevitably characterize field IP data acquisition. Complex conductivity inversion of the field IP dataset revealed that the organic plume is characterized as a region of high electrical conductivity (real part of complex conductivity) consistent with the conceptual model for the electrical structure of a biodegraded LNAPL contaminant plume. The plume is also characterized by a region of high polarizability (imaginary part of complex conductivity) that is more localized to the known plume location (based on conventional monitoring) relative to the high conductivity region in the electrical conductivity image. This observation is attributed to the fact that electrical conductivity is more strongly controlled by hydrogeological and geological characteristics of the site that mask the response from the biodegraded plume. This result encourages the use of field IP to improve the spatial delineation of organic contamination in the subsurface. However, more laborious field procedures are required to acquire reliable field IP data and the inversion of field IP data remains more challenging than resistivity data alone.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Induced polarization
- Olive oil mill waste