The use of reference models from a priori data to guide 2D inversion of electrical resistivity tomography data
Lucy M.L. Catt, L. Jared West and Roger A. Clark
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 57, No 6, November 2009 pp. 1035 - 1048
Info: Article, PDF ( 31.57Mb )
Clay-rich till plains cover much of the UK. Such sites are attractive locations for landfills, since clay aquitards lower the risk of landfill leachate entering groundwater. However, such tills often contain sand and gravel bodies that can act as leachate flow routes. Such bodies may not be detected by conventional site investigation techniques such as drilling boreholes and trial pitting. A method of guided inversion, where a priori data are used to construct structural reference models for use in inverting electrical resistivity tomography data, was proposed as a tool to improve the detection of sand and gravel bodies within clay-rich till sequences. Following a successful 2D guided inversion synthetic modelling study, a field study was undertaken. Wenner 2D electrical resistivity tomography lines, resistivity cone penetrometry bores and electromagnetic induction ground resistivity data were collected over a site on the East Yorkshire coast, England, where sand and gravel lenses were known to exist from cliff exposures. A number of equally valid geoelectrical models were constructed using the electromagnetic and resistivity cone data. These were used as structural reference models in the inversion of the resistivity tomography data. Blind inversion using an homogenous reference model was also carried out for comparison. It was shown for the first time that the best solution model produced by 2D inversion of one data set with a range of structural reference models could be determined by using the l2 model misfit between the solution models and associated reference models (reference misfit) as a proxy for the l2 misfit between the solution models and the synthetic model or 'best-guess' geoelectrical model (true misfit). The 2D methodology developed here is applicable in clay-rich till plains containing sand and gravel bodies throughout the UK.