Articles | Volume 17, issue 10
Research article
22 Oct 2013
Research article |  | 22 Oct 2013

Spectral induced polarization measurements for predicting the hydraulic conductivity in sandy aquifers

M. Attwa and T. Günther

Abstract. Field and laboratory spectral induced polarization (SIP) measurements are integrated to characterize the hydrogeological conditions at the Schillerslage test site in Germany. The phase images are capable of monitoring thin peat layers within the sandy aquifers. However, the field results show limitations of decreasing resolution with depth. In comparison with the field inversion results, the SIP laboratory measurements show a certain shift in SIP response due to different compaction and sorting of the samples. The SIP data are analyzed to derive an empirical relationship for predicting the hydraulic conductivity (K). In particular, two significant but weak correlations between individual real resistivities (ρ') and relaxation times (τ), based on a Debye decomposition (DD) model, with measured K are found for the upper groundwater aquifer. The maximum relaxation time (τmax) and logarithmically weighted average relaxation time (τlw) show a better relation with K values than the median value τ50. A combined power law relation between individual ρ' and τ with K is developed with an expression of A · (ρ')B · (τlw)C, where A, B and C are determined using a least-squares fit between the measured and predicted K. The suggested approach with the calculated coefficients of the first aquifer is applied for the second. Results show good correlation with the measured K indicating that the derived relationship is superior to single phase angle models as Börner or Slater models.