We use an extensive database to compare empirical observations and previously proposed empirical models against recently developed mechanistic formulations for the induced polarization (IP) response in porous media as a function of pore space geometry and interfacial chemistry. These comparisons support the argument that the pore-volume normalized internal surface (S por ) is the most important geometric parameter influencing the polarization. The specific polarizability derived from the empirical relationship between imaginary conductivity σ ″ and S por is independent of the porosity. By contrast, equivalent specific polarizability terms in recently proposed mechanistic models are found to be significantly correlated with porosity, and thus do not appear to represent an interfacial chemistry factor independent of the pore space geometry. Furthermore, the database shows no evidence for a significant decrease in the counterion mobility of clayey materials relative to clay-free materials, as postulated in recent studies. On the contrary, a single value of c p is consistent with no significant differences in ionic mobility given that all samples were saturated with a NaCl solution close to a common salinity of about 100mS/m.
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