Articles | Volume 18, issue 8
Research article
26 Aug 2014
Research article |  | 26 Aug 2014

Geophysical methods to support correct water sampling locations for salt dilution gauging

C. Comina, M. Lasagna, D. A. De Luca, and L. Sambuelli

Abstract. To improve water management design, particularly in irrigation areas, it is important to evaluate the baseline state of the water resources, including canal discharge. Salt dilution gauging is a traditional and well-documented technique in this respect. The complete mixing of salt used for dilution gauging is required; this condition is difficult to test or verify and, if not fulfilled, is the largest source of uncertainty in the discharge calculation. In this paper, a geophysical technique (FERT, fast electrical resistivity tomography) is proposed for imaging the distribution of the salt plume used for dilution gauging at every point along a sampling cross section. With this imaging, complete mixing can be verified. If the mixing is not complete, the image created by FERT can also provide a possible guidance for selecting water-sampling locations in the sampling cross section. A water multi-sampling system prototype aimed to potentially take into account concentration variability is also proposed and tested.

The results reported in the paper show that FERT provides a three-dimensional image of the dissolved salt plume and that this can potentially help in the selection of water sampling points.